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  • Centro Brasileiro Inovação e Sustentabilidade

Brazilian market trends: the boom in the import of bamboo chopsticks in 2023

Bamboo chopsticks

In 2023, Brazil broke another record in the historical series of imports of bamboo articles, according to data collected by SECEX/Ministry of Finance. Practically all imports of bamboo chopsticks are of Chinese origin and increased by 37% compared to 2022. These imports, concentrated in the states of São Paulo, Santa Catarina and Alagoas, represent 85% of purchases.

In a market analysis, the Brazilian Center for Innovation and Sustainability (CEBIS) considers that data on the import of bamboo chopsticks can be seen as an opportunity for entrepreneurship and new business, as they moved more than 14 million reais in imports in 2023, with a calculation made using the dollar exchange rate of 4.88 reais. If we add shipping, insurance, applicable taxes, among other import costs, the value can reach 28 million reais.

In oriental cuisine, the use of chopsticks, also known as Chinese chopsticks, is mandatory. This utensil, which never leaves the most traditional dinner tables, is so important that it has its own set of labels. Chopsticks are a pair of thin, equal rods, traditionally made of bamboo, wood or metal, used as cutlery in several Asian cultures. It is common in dishes such as sushi, sashimi, yakisoba and many other delicacies of Asian cuisine.

Used to pick up food, the use of chopsticks is quite old. This ancient tradition began in China during the Shang dynasty, between 1766 and 1122 BC. Originally, it was used for cooking and only began to be used as cutlery in 400 AD. In Japan, chopsticks were used in traditional ceremonies and only later reached homes simpler. In addition to its unique appearance, the utensil stands out for being very hygienic: in 1878, in Japan, the first disposable chopsticks were created, which to this day are made of bamboo or wood and can be discarded after use.

Cooksticks made from bamboo have significant differences compared to chopsticks made from other materials, such as wood, plastic or metal. Firstly, bamboo is a light, resistant and sustainable material, ideal for the production of chopsticks. Its naturally rough texture provides better grip, making food easier to handle, especially for those who are not used to using chopsticks. Additionally, bamboo chopsticks are disposable, making them a hygienic choice for restaurants and events. On the other hand, wooden or metal chopsticks can be more durable and aesthetically varied, but require more care in cleaning and maintenance. Metal ones, for example, are heavier and slippery, while wooden ones can absorb odors and flavors if not well looked after.



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