Peruvians tend to use edible oils when cooking most meals, including animal proteins such as chicken or red meat, as well as rice and grains. Almost all cooked dishes in the country have a base or foundation of fried garlic, onion and other spices, with edible oils used in all Peruvian homes, despite income level or ethnic background.
In 2018/2019, specific seed or vegetable oils such as corn or sunflower oil recorded strong retail volume growth as consumers perceive these products as beneficial to their health compared to those made from different sources.
Unpackaged oil is commonly bought by foodservice operators, mainly poultry restaurants which are common throughout the country, to prepare French fries as well as a base for chicken seasoning. Some of these bulk purchases are also provided by important manufacturers such as Alicorp and the main characteristic is the low unit price for edible oil produced using mixed seeds and vegetables.
Although olive oil production remains limited in Peru, it witnessed rapid growth in 2017 and 2018, with optimistic projections for 2019 and 2020. Olive oil is mainly produced in the southern coastal region of the country, which enjoys a favourable microclimate.
The ongoing expansion of supermarkets/hypermarkets and more recently of discounters boosted the penetration of private label in edible oils towards the end of the review period, as most consumers do not perceive any great differences between these ranges and traditional brands, despite the efforts of some manufacturers to promote specific benefits. Consumers are used to comparing different products at the time of purchase, looking for the product with lower unit prices, which indicates that only a limited number of consumers are loyal to one brand.
Manufacturers are beginning to promote specific benefits or functionality of their edible oils in an effort to attract consumers, offering a variety of properties, including a healthy life, a lower percentage of saturated fats or good frying with even browning, which imparts flavour to a meal. Despite this, the prices of the various brands in each category are similar, and manufacturers are emphasising these benefits as value-added features to attract customers rather than as a reason to charge higher prices.
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