Latin America has been at the centre of economic and political turmoil, which shaped the performance of edible oils in 2018. Brazil comprises a major market in the region and its revival is the key to the regional growth of edible oils over the coming years. Innovation in edible oils majorly focused on affordable packaging formats and better quality products with health benefits to suit changing consumer needs.
The edible oils market has made a strong recovery in 2018. Due to rising demand in the region from consumers for more varieties and affordable products, players have come up with other affordable alternatives such as mixed and vegetables oil as well as premium oils such as olive oil.
Soy oil dominates edible oils sales in Brazil and Mexico due to lower prices and widespread availability. Rapeseed oil has seen the fastest growth in Colombia due to being marketed as having the lowest amount of saturated fats and high amount of healthier omega-3 fats.
Bunge is the leading edible oils player in Latin America, due to its dominant presence in Brazil, followed by Cargill. These companies mainly focus on low price variants such as soy and corn oil. Associated British Foods is gaining ground due to its diversified geographic presence.
Supermarkets/hypermarkets is the most important channel within edible oils in Brazil. However, leading manufacturers such as Bunge are planning to expand their distribution in mixed retailers, including the local “atacarejos”. In Mexico, traditional grocery retailers remains the dominant distribution channel, however convenience stores and discounters are benefiting from opening more outlets in residential areas, where consumers are more price conscious.
With economic conditions improving, companies are focusing more on innovation in premium oils and new packaging formats. In Chile, Brazil and Mexico, leading players are constantly launching healthy products with added vitamins and antioxidants, such as olive oil, as sedentary lifestyles demand healthier eating habits.
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