Edible Oils in Latin America

February 2019

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.

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Key Findings

The recovery in Brazil and the growing product variety and lower prices propel growth of edible oils

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.

Corn and soy oil are most popular oil types, olive oil on the rise

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 leads edible oils in Latin America

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.

Modern grocery outlets lead sales in Brazil and Chile; traditional retailers still an important channel in Mexico

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.

Recovering economy to lead to growing demand in premium oils such as olive oil

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. 


Key findings

Regional Overview

Rising economic stability set to strengthen growth of edible oils
Growth to be driven by affordable alternatives over 2018-2023
Brazil leads region's edible oils market followed by Mexico and Colombia
Rising demand for corn and soy oil helped by affordability and innovation
Reasonably-priced soy oil and added-benefit olive oil drive growth
High-income consumers drive growth of other edible oils
Traditional retailers lead sales in Mexico; supermarkets in Brazil and Chile
Private label propels growth of modern grocery in Mexico, Chile and Peru

Leading Companies and Brands

Brand loyalty leads to highly concentrated markets
Bunge leads edible oils market in Latin America, followed by Cargill
Bunge and Cargill establish strong foothold by focusing on Brazil
Soya and Liza are the region's leading brands, Natura climbs up the ranks

Forecast Projections

Brazil will continue to lead and account for the major share in the region
Recovering economy in the region to lead to higher growth prospects
Higher GDP growth and controlled inflation support growth of edible oils
Demand for health and wellbeing to favour growth of premium oils

Country Snapshots

Brazil: market context
Brazil: competitive and retail landscape
Mexico: market context
Mexico: competitive and retail landscape
Argentina: market context
Argentina: competitive and retail landscape
Peru: market context
Peru: competitive and retail landscape
Colombia: market context
Colombia: competitive and retail landscape
Guatemala: market context
Guatemala: competitive and retail landscape
Chile: market context
Chile: competitive and retail landscape
Paraguay: market context
Paraguay: competitive and retail landscape
Panama: market context
Panama: competitive and retail landscape
Ecuador: market context
Ecuador: competitive and retail landscape
Honduras: market context
Honduras: competitive and retail landscape
Costa Rica: market context
Costa Rica: competitive and retail landscape
Dominican Republic: market context
Dominican Republic: competitive and retail landscape
El Salvador: market context
El Salvador: competitive and retail landscape
Uruguay: market context
Uruguay: competitive and retail landscape
Bolivia: market context
Bolivia: competitive and retail landscape
Venezuela: market context
Venezuela: competitive and retail landscape


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