The Acai Story
Acai is known by the native people of Brazil as "içá-çai", meaning “fruit that cries.”
The acai berry was initially used by the tribes of the Amazon jungle as a cure for various ailments. Acai berries have been consumed by Brazilians for centuries and are a staple of both the Brazilian diet and culture.
The Açaí palm originates deep in the Amazon rainforests and in South American countries like Peru. It is a species of palm tree cultivated for the superior hearts of palm that are said to have between 10 and 30 times more antioxidants than grapes, pomegranates and blueberries. Acai also has extensive vitamins, amino acids, minerals, omega acids and other elements. It also is known to be one of the most nutritionally dense berries on the planet.
Acai American Introduction
The introduction of the acai to American culture came in the 1960s when the famous Gracie family, founders of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, recommended eating acai both before and after workouts because of the natural energy and long list of nutrients the super fruit provides. During the 1990s, acai’s second introduction was made by surfers returning to the U.S. after long trips to Brazil.
Rapid technological advancements have only recently allowed acai to become commercially available and economically viable. Larger companies now offer acai-flavored smoothies and acai-infused drinks. Many small cafes rely on acai bowls as a core product offering. The berry’s popularity has been apparent and profitable, and there are now many forms of liquid drinks and other related products available from many of the nation’s largest grocery chains. However, in places like Northern California, acai is still very difficult to find. It is only a matter of time before mainstream America adapts acai into its daily diet.
BRAZZLE BERRY feels uniquely positioned to use self-serve yogurt as the driving force behind introducing acai into mainstream American culture.