Mexico to see growth in pasta and savoury snack sales, says market analysis

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Savoury snacks Food Meal United states

Sales of food products such as pasta and savoury snacks are expected to increse in Mexico over the next two years as the economy there recovers from its recent shocks, according to market analysis by Leatherhead Food Research.

In the last year, the country has been hit by swine flu, earthquakes, spiralling drug violence and the global recession, and the latest research from Leatherhead's Global Food Markets database indicates that this has had an impact on all areas of industry, including food and drink with the majority of sectors suffering in 2009.

Tea and coffee, powdered chocolate drinks and yoghurts, however, managed to ride out this tough trading climate, noted the analysts, based on the fact that an increasingnumber of health-conscious consumers, particularly women, have had a positive impact on sales of tea, particularly green teas.

The analysts said that this trend has also been driving yoghurt sales, while coffee is popular among the more affluent consumers, they report.

The UK based market researchers claim the food sector will see growth from this year on, with the sectors which have either experienced the most difficulty in the recession such as pasta, milk and cream or those which have been driven by convenience such as savoury snacks expected to profit the most from this recovery.

Volume sales of pasta in particular fell dramatically by 15 per cent in 2009 from 317,000 tonnes in 2008 to 269,000 tonnes, they said. However, the analysts caution that Mexican consumers have long had a preference for other staples such as rice, bread and beans and therefore pasta consumption is expected to increase but will remain relatively low in comparison to other Latin American countries.

The key players in the majority of sectors, report Leatherhead, tend to focus on one specific market such as Grupo Bimbo, with an 80 per cent market share in the bakery sector, Grupo LaLa, which dominates the dairy market, and Kellogg's with a 51 per cent share of the cereals market.

Pepsico dominates the savoury snacks market with 70 per cent market share.

In addition to the economic squeeze in households, the country is also undergoing major demographic changes, conclude the researchers. An increasing number of women are working and younger consumers are aspiring to and being influenced by western culture, they note.

These trends are linked to the rise in sales of ready meals and fast foods as consumers demand more convenience over traditional cooking methods, said the analysts, and as a result, they added, innovation remains especially high in convenience foods.

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