Savoury Snacks in Latin America

February 2021

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.

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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
Stronger growth expected over the forecast period in savoury snacks
Mexico the main contributor to new sales in the historic period
Savoury biscuits still play a major role in the Latin American market
Mexico can be clearly seen as the main growth driver in many categories
Pandemic improves the savoury snacks performance in Latin America
Independent small grocers gaining share
E-commerce gaining share, but still only a minor channel

Leading Companies and Brands

Ongoing concentration among the leaders in savoury snacks
PepsiCo and Grupo Bimbo continue gaining share in 2020
Argentina’s troubles are seeing Arcor lose share at a regional level
No change at the top but movement in the lower positions

Forecast Projections

Nuts, seeds and trail mixes to drive forecast period growth
Positive growth expected for savoury snacks throughout 2020-2025

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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