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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton
Created on Aug 16th, 2023
Fact checked by Emma Vince

B.you Superfoods 2023: The Best of Brazil

Maurício Matos, co-founder of B.you Superfoods, embarked on a journey driven by a shared passion for açaí. Alongside his brother, they set out to craft exceptional and nutritious products that redefine quality standards. Their vision expanded beyond açaí to include other super fruits like pink dragon fruit, avocado, and acerola, all while prioritizing innovation and socio-economic development in the regions they source from. B.you's mission is to transform consumer sentiment towards superfoods, advocating self-fulfillment and positive impact. DeliveryRank finds out more.

B.you is on a mission to develop and distribute natural Brazilian superfoods while supporting socioeconomic development and environmental preservation in Amazonian communities. Can you share some specific ways your company is working towards achieving this mission and making a positive impact on the communities?

To be completely honest, the second part of our mission involves something new that we've recently started focusing on—promoting social, economic development, and environmental preservation in the region. This has been a concerted effort over the past couple of years, and we've been working diligently to integrate it into our operations. For instance, we've made changes like cutting out middlemen from our sourcing process to improve returns for the people involved. 

Our products are also organic, which aligns with environmentally safe practices. If you're particularly interested in sustainable practices, this might catch your attention. Until now, our approach had been mostly limited to these aspects. 

Additionally, we've recently achieved our B-Corp certification after a long process. It was a goal we had been working towards for over a year and a half, but we faced a significant backlog due to growing demand for such certifications. It wasn't just about the certification itself; it was more about the comprehensive process we underwent. This process highlighted that we still have a considerable journey ahead, but it provided a valuable learning experience and helped us transition into a more diagnostic phase related to the further impact we can have. 

We've started implementing smaller-scale initiatives like reverse cycling programs, collaborating with new partners, and offsetting our carbon footprint. These are all small steps as we gauge where we can make improvements and have a more substantial impact. We're also identifying areas where the community needs us most so that we can fully engage and contribute.

Your portfolio has expanded to include super fruits like acerola, pink dragon fruit, and avocado, apart from açaí. How do you ensure that these products meet the same high standards of taste, quality, and convenience that B.you is known for?

At the core of our approach, we have a well-defined process that precedes any new endeavor. Internally, we hold a mantra, a guiding principle: "To spread goodness through food." Whether it's a fresh idea, a new product in development, or an initiative taking shape, we view it through the lens of this principle. 

What does promoting goodness through food mean? It involves considering whether our actions will lead to more conscious and nutritious food choices, the potential for a positive environmental impact, and the ability to contribute to local communities. Even if we don't fulfill all these criteria right from the start, we establish a roadmap for reaching acceptable standards in these three areas. Once we're confident, we move forward. 

On a more practical note, this process delves into aspects like product qualities, sensory experiences, and sourcing—crucial elements. We've dedicated a specialized team to sourcing, and we collaborate with strategic partners who understand the nuances of our business. Our focus is always on qualification, or even overqualification. When a new idea emerges, whether from our team or our customers, we engage in a reverse engineering process for new product development (NPD). 

Our long-standing partners maintain active and open lines of communication with us, often attuned to the end consumer and market dynamics. When feedback from key customers resonates, indicating potential success, we invest more time and resources. The final stretch involves taking the concept to market. We typically initiate this journey where we have full control over distribution, from production in Brazil to our global offices in Rotterdam, Lisbon, or Dubai. This controlled environment allows us to test and refine without significantly affecting our commercial relationships. Once we're confident in the product's readiness, we expand our reach to our broader network of partners and roll out the innovation.

You focus on innovation and quality while contributing to the development of the regions where these superfoods come from. Could you give us some insights into the process of sourcing these superfoods from the Amazon rainforest and how this supports the local economy and environment?

This question brings me back several years, to the time when my brother and I embarked on founding the business approximately seven years ago. In all honesty, we were novices in the realm of food manufacturing, sourcing, development, and import-export. The journey we undertook taught us the importance of forming connections with strategic partners who could elevate us to the desired standards. 

We identified a gap in the market—a gap that could be filled by prioritizing customer experience through meaningful relationships. In this context, I must acknowledge the exceptional contributions of our partners. Particularly, we owe a great deal of credit to these collaborators who are genuine experts in sourcing. With over 20-25 years of experience in the Amazon rainforest, they have nurtured relationships with local communities and have honed their unique way of conducting business. While we endeavor to align their practices with our values, we also glean valuable insights and lessons from their approach, understanding their needs and areas where we can contribute. It's essentially an exchange of knowledge and collaboration. 

At present, we have two projects in the pipeline. One of our priorities is achieving fair trade certification, a complex undertaking when dealing with diverse families, growers, and cooperatives, each with their distinct perspectives. Ultimately, our journey has reinforced the significance of surrounding ourselves with the right individuals who share a like-minded approach to business. When you have a shared vision and ethos, everything tends to fall into place harmoniously.

B.you's name conveys a sense of self-fulfillment and authenticity. How does this philosophy reflect in your approach to product development and customer engagement, and how do you hope to inspire consumers to adopt a positive view of themselves and the world?

This is the part that holds a special place in our hearts. As business owners, we understand that our company is an extension of ourselves, and our branding reflects that sentiment. My brother's background, and mine, leans towards marketing and branding, and it's an area where we excel. When considering the name, it's not about imposing our ideas or dictating how things should be; instead, it's rooted in a philosophy of freedom and abundance. We believe in empowering individuals to approach things in their own unique way. 

Throughout our journey, we've predominantly engaged in B2B interactions, mostly working with these types of customers and buyers. Our focus has been on delivering the finest raw materials and products, allowing them to infuse their creative touch. Collaborating with renowned chefs, nutritionists and food enthusiasts globally has been incredibly rewarding, witnessing the transformation of quality raw ingredients into unexpected and delightful recipes. However, we're also looking forward to expanding into the B2C realm in the near future. Our brand has always resonated with consumers for the reasons we've discussed. Our perspective revolves around valuing beauty, uniqueness, and individuality. We understand that just because something is done wonderfully in one way doesn't mean there can't be another equally incredible approach. This also applies to us—we've learned not to burden ourselves with undue pressure and instead prioritize authenticity and aligning with our beliefs. 

A guiding quote we've developed encapsulates our ethos: "I'm just like all of you, but unlike any of you. We`re like everyone else, but unlike anyone else." It reflects the idea that while we share a universal connection, each of us possesses distinct individualities. We refer to this as "universal singularity," emphasizing the harmony of our shared humanity and the diversity of our personal identities. This philosophy shapes everything we do and serves as the essence of our mission—to showcase the amazing tapestry of personalities, ideas, and ways of thinking that enrich our world.

What is your vision and how do you plan to further expand your global distribution and create awareness about the health benefits and sustainability aspects of these Amazonian superfoods?

It all circles back to those two fundamental principles I mentioned earlier: spreading goodness through food and building relationships that matter. By staying true to these guiding principles, no matter where our journey takes us, we are confident that we are on the right path. 

We are committed to achieving excellence and making a positive impact, a deeply rewarding aspect of what we do. This philosophy encompasses all aspects of our interactions, from connecting with consumers to engaging with local communities in the Amazon, and even within our internal team. Witnessing growth and an improved quality of life among our team members is truly fulfilling.

This is the core essence of our mission. Looking ahead, we have plans to enhance consumer education, fostering greater awareness and consciousness. We aim to play a more active role in media content to vividly convey our values and message, making it more accessible and understandable for consumers. 

As we embark on this journey, I'd like to share that my brother and I have a unique background that spans over a decade of living and studying abroad. This exposure fueled our vision of bringing these exceptional superfoods to the global stage. Over the past seven years, we've already made significant strides in establishing our presence across most of Europe, the Middle East and beyond. 

As we continue, keep an eye out, as we're excited to amplify our impact. Our plans include making a splash in the United States in the near future, and we're also strategically restructuring partnerships in the APAC region, where we'll be more actively engaged in the coming times. Stay tuned for more exciting developments from us!

If you would like to find out more about B.you, visit https://byousuperfoods.com/

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