Despite pandemic, Brazilian entrepreneur expands brand to US

Despite pandemic, Brazilian entrepreneur expands brand to US
Fabiana Mendes CEO of Sunflower vitamins
By: Alessandra Cardoso

Miami, FL – Overseas dietary supplement companies are growing in the US amid the pandemic. Investment in quality, delivery expediency and supplying a rising demand in immunity supplements has widened the competition making room for reputable overseas brands to emerge in the era of Covid-19.

Sunflower Industries, one of the top manufacturers of nutritional supplements and vitamins in Latin America is seeking to export its success to the highly competitive US market.

As the pandemic takes a toll on society, the vitamins and dietary supplement industry has seen a sharp spike in sales. The spike in sales is in part due to savy marketing work by the industries’ top vitamin executives such as Sunflower’s CEO Fabiana Mendes.

“We have always sought to highlight our immunity boosting supplements, but the pandemic created such a large demand that we identified an opportunity to expand our success into the United states.”

Mendes, known for never shying away from a challenge, is heavily investing the US market. In Brazil, Mendes has bucked its nutritional supplement culture by taking the high road in implementing high standards in production and demanding the same from vendors and suppliers.

“In Brazil and in most of Latin America there is very little regulation for the dietary supplement industry, yet Sunflower is successful because we self impose very high standards. Sure, it’s costly but it’s an investment in sustainability,” says Mendes.

Mendes leadership in Brazil’s vitamin economy, which accounts for 30% for all of the South American continent’s market, is paying off as he has been welcomed by consumers in the United States.

In just two quarters, Sunflower has seen an increase of 37% growth in US based purchases. Mendes has also formed key partnerships with US based companies, moved manufacturing to the US and created a robust digital presence.

“In Brazil everyone made fun of us for investing in high standards o, but I always envisioned competing in the US market so from early on we acted as if we were already there,” explains Mendes.

Yet, Mendes and other foreign companies from Colombia, Argentina, and Russia who have rushed to the US markets, have a steep hill to climb. Nutrition Business Journal shows that US consumers are most comfortable with American made products and known name brands.

But in an industry projected by NBJ to grow a whopping 25% in the next year, Mendes has a lot of room to translate his success from Portuguese to English.

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