The Mexican food industry has grown rapidly over recent years, fuelled by the establishment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the spread of its retail model.
Food and Drink sector in Mexico
On the basis of a growing population and a large number of young people (half of Mexico’s
population of 112 milion people are under the age of 26), Mexican food and drink consumption
is expected to continue delivering a steady growth in the four years to 2016, as the GDP growth
is expected to be of 3.5% for 2012 and of 3.9% for 2013.
The Mexican food industry has grown rapidly over recent years, fuelled by the establishment of
the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the spread of its retail model leading
to an increase in the import of foreign foods. International operators are seeking to extend their
product portfolios and new producers looking to enter into this profitable market. A fact is that
Mexico is becoming increasingly dependant on imports of some products.
ξ 2012 per capita food consumption = +3.4%; forecast to 2016 = +11.5%
ξ 2012 alcoholic drink sales = +7.5%; forecast to 2016 = +27.1%
ξ 2012 soft drink sales = +5.2%; forecast to 2016 = +20.6%
ξ 2012 mass grocery retail sales = +6.8%; forecast to 2016 = +26.4%.
ξ Dairy: In the dairy sector, both production and imports of a range of dairy products have
increased, driven by growing domestic demand from both consumers and processors.
Imports have been rising, Mexico having the second largest dairy market in Latin
ξ Prepared/Canned Food: Canned and dried foods are the most popular types of prepared
food in Mexico due to the widespread lack of cold storage facilities in local retailers and
homes. Demand for frozen and chilled food is mainly concentrated in large cities,
including Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara, where the majority of Mexico’s
middle and upper class consumers are.
ξ Organic: Organic foodstuffs and products are becoming more popular in Mexico; the
country now ranks amongst the top twenty producers of organic food worldwide with 1.3
million acres of land dedicated to organic agriculture.
ξ Confectionery: Both the chocolate and sugar confectionery sub-sectors have benefited
from the introduction of value added products over recent years, mostly imports, which
have increased value sales in particular.
ξ Baby Food: The Mexican market for baby food registered a positive volume growth in
2011. This is mainly due to the rising number of working mothers that translate into
families with better income, allowing Mexican families to invest further in child
ξ Alcoholic Drinks: The alcoholic beverages industry accounts for an estimated 0.2% of
GDP. The wine market is growing slowly but surely: it is certainly an opportunity within
middle- and upper class parties in Mexico. Further, the alcoholic drinks market in this
country is currently dominated by beer, the most popular drink.
ξ Soft Drinks: Mexico is among the largest per capita consumers of soft drinks in the
world and the top ones in Latin America. However, there is currently a larger focus on
non carbonated drinks. Also, demand for energy drinks looks likely to soar after two of
the three leading US brands entered the market in 2009.
ξ Health awareness: Growing health-consciousness and concerns about obesity create
opportunities for increasing sales of low-fat, sugar-free and calories reduced products in
Mexico’s food-processing sector accounts for a sizeable proportion of industrial output and
GDP, with the sector attracting significant foreign direct investment. The country benefits from a
large and growing population, with a relatively large middle class compared with other regional
markets, providing a major audience for packaged and processed foods. Further, per capita soft
drink consumption is the highest in Latin America, making the Mexican soft drink market one of
the largest in the world. Finally, modern retail formats are proving popular with consumers and
further growth is expected in the hypermarket, discount and 'express' convenience store formats..
Latest export opportunities – Food & Drink
Latest export opportunities - Mexico
Getting into the market
Mexico is now judged to be more economically stable than in the past. Sound monetary and
exchange rate policy means that inflationary pressures have been kept at a minimum. Mexico is
also judged to be less plagued by bureaucracy and corruption than some of its other Central and
South American neighbours, and also to be more open to foreign trade and investment.
British companies wishing to develop their business in the Mexican market are advised to
undertake as much market research and planning as possible in the UK.
The food and drink sector is changing constantly and companies have to be aware of new
UKTI’s team in Mexico, with its wide local knowledge and experience, can provide a range of
services to British-based companies wishing to grow their business in global markets.
This can include:
ξ Provision of market information
ξ Validated lists of agents/distributors
ξ Key market players or potential customers in the Mexican market
ξ Establishment of interest of such contacts in working with you
ξ Arranging appointments
ξ Organise seminars or other events for you to meet contacts and promote your company in
the Mexican market
More about doing business in Mexico
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas and UKTI can provide bespoke
market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market
Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists
based overseas - or contact your local international trade team.
ξ Jose Luis Rodriguez , UK Trade & Investment Office Guadalajara +52 33 3630
4357 ext. 101 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
ξ Irma Gloria Saldaña, UKTI Office Guadalajara. Tel: +52 (33)3630.4357 or email:
Contact your local international trade team
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to
overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
Latest events – Food & Drink
More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters