Edible Oils in Latin America

January 2022

Growth in retail sales of edible oils recorded a marked slowdown in 2021, following the year-earlier growth spike due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). However, sales remained well above pre-pandemic levels in 2020. Although some of the strong growth seen in 2020 was due to price rises in some countries, including Brazil, volume sales were also up in this year, with edible oils something of a key cooking ingredient in an environment in which consumers were eating and cooking more in their own homes.

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Key Findings

Growth slows as the pandemic’s impact lessens

Home seclusion and foodservice closures due to the pandemic resulted in a growth spike in sales of edible oils in 2020. However, value growth was much stronger than volume growth due to major price increases in the Brazilian market. With society learning to live with the virus and vaccination programmes rolling out, value growth slowed in 2021, while volume sales declined slightly. Falling prices in Brazil also held back value growth in 2021, although sales remained above pre-pandemic levels in 2021 in both value and volume terms.

Soy oil leads in Brazil, but sunflower oil dominates in Argentina

Sunflower oil is the main edible oil consumed in Argentina. The country is a major producer of sunflower oil, corn oil and soy oil. While soy oil consumption is high in neighbouring countries, Argentinians prefer sunflower oil, a tradition passed on from one generation to the next. In Brazil, it is soy oil that dominates sales, as, even following the steep price increases seen in 2020, it is still much cheaper than most other edible oil types.

E-commerce remains a minor distribution channel

Although it recorded strong growth during the pandemic, e-commerce still only has a very small presence in the retail distribution of edible oils, accounting for only 1% of regional sales in 2021. Independent small grocers, supermarkets and hypermarkets remain the biggest distribution channels.

Olive oil to see the strongest growth in 2021-2026

Sales of edible oils will record positive growth in real value terms throughout 2021-2026, with annual increases improving year on year over the forecast period. Olive oil will see the most dynamic growth, benefiting from its healthier image as well as an increasingly wide range of players and products active in this category, including chili sauce brand Tabasco, which has been extended into this product area with the launch of a virgin olive oil with the taste of Tabasco.

Introduction

Scope
Key findings

Regional Overview

Price rises help drive Latin American historic period growth
Improving year-on-year growth rates expected over the forecast period
Brazil dominates new value sales over 2016-2021
Olive oil a strong performer in Brazil in 2016-2021
Soy oil in Brazil the major contributor to regional new sales in 2016-2021
Slower but still positive growth seen in 2021
Modern grocery retailers account for just over half of regional sales
E-commerce grows during the pandemic but is still a minor channel

Leading Companies and Brands

Major share gains for private label in Colombia in 2016-2021
Bunge continues to lead edible oils in Latin America
Single-market players predominate in Latin America’s top 10
Leve and Coamo move up the rankings due to dynamic Brazilian market

Forecast Projections

Improving growth rates expected over the course of the forecast period
Brazil will continue to dominate the new sales in the region
Rising prices will provide impetus for value growth in Brazil

Country Snapshots

Argentina: Market Context
Argentina: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Bolivia: Market Context
Bolivia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Brazil: Market Context
Brazil: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Chile: Market Context
Chile: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Colombia: Market Context
Colombia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Costa Rica: Market Context
Costa Rica: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Dominican Republic: Market Context
Dominican Republic: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Ecuador: Market Context
Ecuador: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Guatemala: Market Context
Guatemala: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Mexico: Market Context
Mexico: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Peru: Market Context
Peru: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Uruguay: Market Context
Uruguay: Competitive and Retail Landscape
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