While the pandemic stimulated sales of cooking ingredients and meal products with consumers spending more time cooking at home, sales slowed across cooking ingredients and meals in 2023, particularly in edible oils and sweet spreads. Economic uncertainty stimulated growing price sensitivity which boosted demand for cheaper products, especially as many people live in poverty in El Salvador.
The Salvadoran market in 2022 experienced a growing inflationary effect, as a consequence of increases in the international prices of raw materials and higher logistics costs. As a consequence, the retail prices of products in the cooking ingredients and meals category tended to rise.
Consumers in El Salvador typically have three meals a day, consisting of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lunch is usually considered the most important meal but is often only eaten together as a family at weekends due to work and school commitments.
The Central American Monetary Council reported that inflation in El Salvador was 6.11% in 2021, one of the highest in the region and one of the highest records since 2011.
Connectivity is good in El Salvador with the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranking the country’s road network among the best in the region. However, gang-related extortion makes it difficult for distributors to reach all neighbourhoods, which means they often prefer to go to a distribution centre and then deliver to a supermarket warehouse, with supermarkets having "agreements" with gangs to allow them to deliver their products.
The cooking ingredients and meals industry is expected to register modest growth over the forecast period. In terms of the overall economy, the IMF projects moderate recovery of 4.
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Cooking Ingredients and Meals
This report originates from Passport, our Cooking Ingredients and Meals research and analysis database.
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