Retail value sales of savoury snacks have continued increasing in 2020, benefiting slightly from foodservice sales moving into the retail channel due to horeca closures and people spending more time at home than usual due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Although the pandemic has had a negative impact on local economies, savoury snacks are affordable products that can meet consumer demand for small treats, and, in some cases, can also offer a healthier alternative to snacks like sugar confectionery.
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.
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.
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.
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