US influence and obesity concerns fuel breakfast cereal boom in Mexico: Canadean

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Obesity concerns, US influence and clever marketing have caused breakfast cereal boom in Mexico, says Canadean
Obesity concerns, US influence and clever marketing have caused breakfast cereal boom in Mexico, says Canadean
Younger Mexican consumers have adopted healthier eating trends as US influence, obesity concerns and marketing efforts take hold, prompting a sharp rise in breakfast cereal consumption, according to Canadean.

Mexico’s bakery and cereal sector was worth $32,266 in 2012, and this value is set to surge at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.4% over the next four years, according to new data from Canadean.

Growth will be led by the breakfast cereal segment – a key growth category in the country – with value set to growth at a CAGR of 3.6% through to 2017.

“Healthy eating trends, the influence of US culture and powerful marketing efforts have encouraged young people in Mexico to consume more breakfast cereals,”​ Canadean said.

This youth group interested in breakfast cereal represents a significant chunk of the population, it said, with 40 million Mexicans aged 19 and under.

“Targeting these 40 million young consumers is key for growth in Mexico, and this is what is driving very strong growth in the breakfast cereals market,”​ said Ronan Stafford, reports analyst at Canadean.

Stafford told BakeryandSnacks.com that there have been strong and influential marketing efforts from companies like Kellogg and Nestlé that have contributed to the growth of the sector.

Kellogg has cleverly targeted the market for some time, he said, with a successful campaign as early as 2007 targeting the Mexican tradition of a light, late-evening dinner - ‘iCena Cereal!’ (Dine on Cereals!).

Mexico’s obesity issue

The success of breakfast cereals can also be associated with the fact that health concerns are really at the fore in Mexico given the obesity crisis, Stafford said.

“High-sugar categories such as cookies and cakes, and pastries and sweet pies will grow slower than categories such as bread and rolls and breakfast cereals.”

However, Stafford said that alongside concerns on health, consumers have other priorities that need to be fulfilled by manufacturers.

The rising numbers of urban-based consumers will continue to value convenience over health; “mirroring trends recorded worldwide”, ​he said.

“That doesn’t mean that offering healthy products, such as wholegrain, won’t be attractive to consumers; an increasing awareness of heart health and obesity problems will drive consumers towards ‘better for you’ products. However, busy consumers are more likely to eat on-the-go and snack between meals, situation where they are likely to opt for convenient and fun, but often unhealthy, food,”​ he said.

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