South America

In Brazil, Adventist industries focus on consumer health

With varied lines of natural and healthy food, companies linked to the Adventist Church seek to work in an integrated manner.

Brasilia, Brazil | Vanessa Arba

Around the world, a growing concern for health has leveraged the field of healthy foods. Companies who make healthy food celebrate the success of the products. But among those industries, some are in the industry not just to look good, but for philosophy. 

"The Adventist Church does not work with businesses, businesses or organizations," said Erton Köhler, president of the Adventist Church in South America. "While maintaining hospitals, schools, etc., has a greater purpose behind each of these institutions. Food factories, in particular, have two main objectives. The first is to help in the accomplishment of the mission, reaching people by means other than the conventional one. And the second is to propagate the biblical belief, and we argue, about the need for a healthy life. That's why our factories produce differentiated foods, focusing on people's quality of life.” 

Bridges for the gospel

For the director of Alimentos Granix, Marcelo Cerda, these factories are bridges for people to approach the gospel. In order to take care of our body and health, they end up knowing the Church, and that breaks barriers. "We, as a Church, have in our doctrine the knowledge that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. So, selling healthy foods is a support activity, a bridge to the ultimate goal, which is our mission, that people can know Jesus.”

With 80 years in the market, Alimentos Granix started manufacturing cereals. Then he started producing sweet and salty cookies. Today, its product lines add about 3500 tons per month, resulting in about 40 thousand tons per year.


Álvaro Masias, director of Productos Unión (Peru), says that all the products carry in their packaging the logo of the Church and a biblical verse. In this way, the consumer "not only carries a healthy product, but also identifies our products with the Church. Obviously, we consider that we fulfill the mission," he says.

For Superbom, it is a source of pride to be grounded in Christian principles. "Ellen White [Adventist Church co-founder and author] says 'there's a lot of religion on a bun,'" recalls industry director Adamir Alberto. "In all of our products we have identified that we are an industry belonging to the Adventist Church. Our idea is to get all our consumers to make sure they are consuming a quality product based on Adventist philosophy.” 

Superbom was born in 1925 with a line of whole juices. Today, with more than 90 years in the market, it has several types of natural foods, such as vegetable proteins, honey, biscuits, vegan cheese, etc. 

Despite the growing demand from the health food industry, it is not easy to compete in the market, especially if the company follows the industry for philosophical reasons. Alberto lists the biggest challenges. "It is a difficulty to combine quality and price. They are almost incompatible! Either the product gets too expensive for quality, or it gets cheap because it does not. So putting these two things together is laborious. Another great challenge of healthy food is to have flavor, mainly because we work with natural products, and no chemistry. But in terms of trade, it's no use having quality and not pleasing the taste.” 

Even in the face of the challenging picture, the never company loses its space. In fact, the innovation strategy ends up being its greatest stimulus. Its most recent production, that of vegan cheese, was unprecedented. "Some products are derivations from others, but creating from scratch is more difficult. And the birth of a product is something interesting! There are those who are thought of, and there are others who come by the need of the market, such as vegan cheese. We realized that there was no such industry in Brazil, so we wanted to develop the product. Our creative industry unites people who specialize in chemical engineering, production, food, nutrition, and so on,” he explains. 

Superbom serves all of Brazil, in large supermarket chains, specialty stores and all stores in Adventist institutions. About selling outside the country, Adamir states: "We do very little export; we already export to Japan, Chile ... We are trying to open this range, but we are still at the beginning of this process, "he points out.

In addition to it, other food industries belonging to the Adventist Church operate in the continent, namely:  Granix (Argentina), Productos Union (Peru), Ceapé Products (Argentina), Superbom Chile and Alimentos Cade (Ecuador). 

Meeting of administrators 

On January 24 and 25, directors and administrators of these industries met at the headquarters of the Adventist Church in South America, in Brasilia, with the purpose of strengthening the purposes and integrating the forces of organizations. For Köhler, integration optimizes work in many ways. 

"Some [of the factories] are bigger, some smaller, each has a different know-how , a different staff, produces a different material, and we want to integrate them to empower the technical staff, the market, the use of inputs, quality and cost of products. The goal is to have more solid industries, better quality products and more accessible to the large population. In this way, they will be helping the Church to fulfill its mission of bringing quality of life to people, "he says.