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Top Five Consumer Trends in Latin America

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Consumers in Latin America are accustomed to the crises the world is seeing. Many Latin American countries have lived with high inflation and political instability for decades, yet at the same time, the region puts high value on celebrations, socialisation and optimism, leading consumers to live with a constant duality: saving and enjoying life.

Consumer behaviour is constantly shifting and, for business, keeping up with changing values and preferences is challenging. Our Global Consumer Trends report can help business leaders do that. But it is also important to align these with different cultures and societies. Here, we take a look at which trends are most prevalent in Latin America and lessons you can learn that will help you become more prepared and creative this year.

The Thrivers

The Thrivers are putting life into perspective and asking the question: “Why bother?”. The Thrivers want to enjoy and fulfil their daily duties without overexerting themselves.

In Latin America, the unequal society and an economy that relies on agriculture and services mean that changing jobs and hybrid working are limited for many. So, how can consumers find better balance and gain back more time for themselves?

This can be seen in purchase decisions, especially products that help consumers manage stress. Retail sales of sleep aids grew by 21% in Latin America in 2022 and are set to grow by another 10% in 2023.

Sales of legal cannabis products are also increasing, forecast to grow in retail value by a 66% CAGR in 2022-2027, in selected Latin American markets, as consumer awareness builds, legislation becomes more lenient and companies invest more. For example, in Mexico, CBD Life offers CBD-infused beverages at accessible price points that claim to relax consumers.Top Five Consumer Trends in Latin America Chart 1.svgBut brands aren’t the only ones responding to this trend. Local governments are also re-evaluating labour policies. In Mexico, the government approved an increase in paid annual leave days from six to 12 days per year starting in January 2023.

Although not relevant in every country, in some bigger cities and metropolitan areas, hybrid work and improving work-life balance are gaining momentum. In Brazil and Colombia, foreign workers and some nationals are moving to the city or touristic towns to enjoy lower prices and a better quality of life. In Brazil, NomadX has invested in building a village for digital nomads, the first in Latin America, located at Pipa Beach in the northeast part of Brazil.

Here and Now and Revived Routines

Here and Now and Revived Routines are two trends that are intrinsically connected in Latin America. Consumers are settling into new routines, eager to get on with their lives and they are indulging, as they look to cope with, even escape from, the constant crises and instabilities in the region.

Latin American countries have shown rapid recovery of social and out-of-home activities. On-trade volume sales of alcoholic drinks in the region surpassed 2019 volumes by 7% already in 2022 and are expected to continue rising over the next few years despite economic downturns.Top Five Consumer Trends in Latin America Chart 2.svg

Companies understanding the Here and Now trend are exploring ways of communicating their products’ value proposition and invoking a positive brand association. Beats, an RTD brand from AB InBev in Brazil, launched a new publicity campaign in early January 2023. Anticipating a return to the pre-COVID-19 level of Carnival celebrations, the marketing promotes its new products associated with the event but also targets a more inclusive group, from African descendants to LGBTQ+, highlighting a socially responsible brand image that appeals to consumers.

Revived Routines walks hand in hand with Here and Now, as consumers’ approach to spending and willingness to indulge and splurge allow premiumisation to be rampant still in the region. Companies in the region are investing in understanding the post-pandemic consumer and their new routines.

Emotional equity is more important than ever to consumers, carrying equal weight to price for many. Loyalty programmes are more popular, helping alleviate cost pressures so consumers can spend more on enjoying life. How to best use loyalty programmes has become a source of interest, with the rise of financial influencers.

While BNPL payment methods are already popular in the region, the use of these and credit cards has accelerated further as consumers demand more access to flexible payment solutions, especially for those Hear and Now consumers who do not want to wait to indulge. Brazilian fintech Nubank has already surpassed 64.8 million clients in Brazil and three million in Mexico and is increasing investment to penetrate Colombia and other Latin American countries.

Tourism and events are also on the rise. Corona Capital, a music festival in Mexico, is regaining traction and attendance, surpassing pre-pandemic attendances, up from 190,000 attendees in 2019 to over 255,000 in 2022.


The Latin American economy is faced with high inflation, unemployment and tax rates.

To support consumers looking to save money, companies are innovating with pack sizes – smaller pack sizes for those looking to buy less, as well as larger packs for bulk buying that reduces unit prices. Retailers are investing in more private label options as well as alternative business models such as rental and second-hand services. In Mexico, Liverpool, the leading chain of department stores, has launched dress rental as a lower-cost alternative to purchasing.

articlebannerGCT23 (1).pngSubscriptions play a unique role in relation to the Budgeteers trend and can help companies acquire new customers. These services give shoppers more control over their spending because of the fixed, recurring cost, especially as frequent price adjustments continue due to inflation. Subscription programme Mercado Diferente in Brazil offers organic produce, claiming to be at least 40% cheaper than average store prices.

Reward programmes and travel clubs are also gaining attention, tapping into Here and Now trends towards wanting to enjoy life while also helping consumers spend and travel on a budget. The joint loyalty programme from Volaris airline and Oxxo convenience store in Mexico allows consumers to pay for Volaris airline tickets in cash, a key payment method for many in the country.

Young and Disrupted

Gen Z consumer behaviour is disruptive, ever-changing and challenging for companies. This expressive, digital generation stand up for their beliefs with a preference for real, raw and relevant content.

Authenticity has gained importance across the region, as these consumers look for more locally-made products and items they associate with their own identity. Cervejaria Implicantes in Brazil is a brewery, created by African Brazilians, that celebrates their heritage and culture to connect with the community.

The younger generation are also more immune to traditional advertising, preferring to engage digitally. They do not trust business, demand proof and are more likely to listen to friends, family and social media influencers. According to Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey 2022, 30% of Gen Z consumers and 38% of millennials trust independent consumer reviews in Latin America. This is giving space to testimonials and reviews as marketing strategies such as “La señora de Costco” in Mexico, an independent influencer on Instagram who provides product reviews, price tips and ideas on how and when to best use the products.

Gen Z are also highly critical of empty promises and greenwashing or pinkwashing. Highly opinionated, they are happy to call out brands and companies that are not authentic or do not live up to their commitments, such as social good and sustainability. In Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey 2022, Latin American Gen Z place higher importance on buying sustainably-produced items than the same generation in North America and Europe.


Top Five Consumer Trends in Latin America Chart 3.svg

2023 is shaping up to be a year of continued uncertainties. Companies need to help and support consumers, especially in Latin America where inflation and political instabilities are likely to continue, and possibly intensify.

You cannot afford to misunderstand the nuances of your target audience. These five trends will drive consumer behaviour in Latin America for the foreseeable future. 

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