The Coronavirus pandemic has radically transformed the economic and consumer landscape of Latin America. It has changed the way consumers live, work and shop. Increased time at home, price-sensitive consumers, a focus on mental wellbeing and sustainability, as well as reliance on e-commerce are all themes discussed in this report. This “new normal” will present packaged food companies with significant challenges but also opportunities for innovation and growth.
Restrictions on foodservice outlets, increased working/learning from home and a lack of disposable income will continue to shift meal occasions into the home. This translates to more time dedicated to breakfasts, a heightened need for convenience in preparing lunch and dinner, and an entirely new generation of “chefs” to support and inspire.
Health has become a holistic concept. While functional foods that support immune health offer potential, so do those that bring enjoyment through permissible indulgence or that foster emotional wellbeing by helping to support the community.
Latin America will not experience a full economic recovery, and its biggest losers will be the region’s lower middle classes, who are in danger of falling into poverty. Reduced disposable income and increased unemployment mean that a segment of consumers will prefer value for money options, private label, and economy products. Discounters in the region will also be set for growth.
E-commerce in Latin America has expanded more in 2020 than was forecast for the next decade. Consumers increasingly value the ability to shop from home while social distancing, and the migration to digital will remain. Packaged food companies should embrace digital culture for e-commerce and marketing.
Latin America is the region of the world most affected by the pandemic economically. Therefore, identifying new export markets will provide opportunities for growth. And although many consumers will prefer local products, others will look to replace international travel with imported food.
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