Fast food geography: Discover Brazil through Bob’s

Brazil provides plenty of fast food fodder, from international chains to local favorites. To get the basics about Brazil, learn about Bob’s, the home-grown burger chain that first brought fast food to Brazil.

Brazil can move markets…including Ovaltine

Want to see just how strong of an economy Brazil has? Look at their Ovaltine.

Bob’s shakes are all made with Ovaltine marketed as Ovomaltine. The special brand is possible because Brazil is the second largest Ovaltine market in the world, after Thailand. Brazil also has the world’s second largest Ovaltine factory in São Paulo.

Brazilian Ovaltine is unique as well—it has a slightly crispier taste, thanks to an old assembly line malfunction.

Rio and São Paulo are king

When Robert Falkenburg founded Bob’s in 1952, he settled in Rio. Rio remains a home to many Bob’s stores, but São Paulo competes for the title.

Now the largest city in Brazil, São Paulo’s growth curve took off around 1960 and never stopped. Today, it dwarfs Rio with 19 million people to the smaller city’s 11 million.

Guarana is common

Guarana is common in Brazil. So common, in fact, that you can by Coke’s Kuat! guarana soda brand at Bob’s.

The plant can be found in the Amazon and its berries contain caffeine.

Brazil loves bananas

Though Bob’s doesn’t currently sell banana-filled concoctions, its vintage-style store has a classic: the banana and cheese sandwich.

It reflects Brazil’s status as the world’s second-largest banana producer (behind India). In case you aren’t convinced bananas are deeply ingrained in Brazilian culture, even McDonald’s sells banana pies there.


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