Savoury Snacks in Latin America

January 2022

Retail value sales of savoury snacks slipped into decline in 2020, with some countries seeing weaker year-on-year performances as a result of the economic impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) hitting consumers’ disposable incomes. Mobility restrictions also negatively affected on-the-go sales. However, sales rebounded in 2021, with further growth expected in the coming years, in spite of the increasing prevalence of health labelling regulations in the region.

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Key Findings

Struggling economies affect historic period performance

At any given time over the course of the historic period, at least one of the major countries in the region was struggling with economic and/or social unrest. Right at the start of the historic period, Brazil was only just emerging from a deep recession, while Argentina was experiencing economic difficulties at its end. Social unrest raised its head in Chile in 2019, having a knock-on effect on the country’s economic indicators, while Venezuela’s once flourishing economy has been in steep decline for some years now. This was having an effect on savoury snacks, which was recording stagnating or even declining sales in some years in 2015-2020.

Pandemic seems to have a positive influence on sales

However, with the region already registering a recovery in its performance in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic, in spite of the economic impact of the measures taken to contain its spread, seems to have actually helped drive sales of savoury snacks in the retail channel. With foodservice sales collapsing, some of the horeca consumption occasions were moving into people’s homes, where consumers were spending a lot more time than normal, anyway, due to lockdowns as well as many people working and learning from home – and therefore also snacking there.

Health trend to be accentuated by new regulations?

Albeit less marked than in some regions, there is a rising trend towards healthier products in Latin America, eg naturally healthy products – with nuts, seeds and trail mixes due to see dynamic forecast period growth – but also products like potato chips with reduced fat or salt. This could also be driven by new labelling regulations in Mexico to inform consumers about the high content of certain ingredients in food products as well as Brazil’s planned new traffic light system to warn people about the content of potentially harmful ingredients like salt and fat.


Key findings

Regional Overview

Latin America records the slowest historic period growth
Growth rates expected to pick up a little steam over the forecast period
Mexico the main contributor to new sales over 2016-2021
Savoury biscuits, the region’s major product, in decline in 2016-2021
Mexico is the main growth driver in most categories in 2016-2021
Growth picks up again in 2021 after 2020’s pandemic-induced decline
Independent small grocers continue to lead sales…
…but lose some share during the pandemic

Leading Companies and Brands

Increasing concentration among the region’s savoury snacks leaders
PepsiCo continues gaining share in 2021
Argentina’s troubles have been hitting Arcor’s regional share
No changes at the top among the leading brands

Forecast Projections

Positive growth expected for savoury snacks throughout 2021-2026
Nuts, seeds and trail mixes to record the strongest growth
Hard drivers generally working in favour of positive growth in the region

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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