Making something more sophisticated, and therefore more expensive. The word “gourmet” has been associated with premium products – and is now everywhere
This trend started in Brazil a few years ago, and it is especially present in São Paulo. Gourmetização means to add “special” ingredients to an otherwise mundane product and significantly raise its price.
Coxinha, for instance, is one Brazil’s most popular snacks. It usually takes shredded chicken meat as its main ingredient. What fancy bars do, however, is replace it with ossobuco and triple the price.
Is gourmet actually better?
A trend among premium brands across the world is to sell “an experience,” rather than a product. For that, they invest in better ingredients, innovative presentation, and a fresh atmosphere.
In Brazil, though, that label “gourmet” has often been associated with a ruse against the consumer. Companies are using fancy names to sell the same products they used to, but now overpricing them. In São Paulo, it is rare to find ice creams nowadays. There is only gelato.
In 2014, there was a boom of Mexican paletas. Originally, a paleta is a popular fruit popsicle that costs the equivalent of 1 Brazilian Real. Brazilian Paleterias added unique flavors and sold them for up to 20 BRL. And that’s gourmetização.
We’re not saying that all gourmet items are a ruse – but a lot of them are.