The processed food sector in Central Mexico will continue to grow due to urban consumers’ lack of time to prepare meals. As more women enter the work force, their families will turn to prepared meals as substitutes for home-cooked meals. In addition, imports of foreign brands have grown due to consumer sophistication and the growth of the middle class in Mexico City and the State of Mexico, which represents a potential market of over 20 plus million consumers. Therefore, new and more efficient food processing machinery has become a major need for producers of processed food.
As of 2008, the National Institute of Statistics reported that Mexico has 157,942 food processing companies and 992,963 employees nationwide. The National Chamber of Processed Food Industry (Canainca) reports that 11 percent are small (less than USD 70,000 in annual sales), 37 percent are medium sized (between USD 70,000 and 700,000 per year) and 52 percent are large companies (over USD 700,000 in sales per year). These producers have access to food processing equipment suppliers from many foreign countries.
Even though Mexico has numerous food processing companies, local production of food processing equipment is small due mainly to the lack of technology. Although there are a few local players in the market, their equipment is not very sophisticated. However, it is adaptable and tailored to small lines of food processing production and therefore they have a decent market. Suppliers from countries such as the United States, Italy, Germany, Spain China and South Korea are the major players in the market. There are many business opportunities for U.S. manufacturers and exporters of new technologies and / or low cost equipment.
Mexico City and the metropolitan area offer excellent business opportunities for food processing equipment. The National Institute of Statistics reveals that there are 846 food processing companies in the area. The beverage industry reports 2,088 additional companies. Efficient machinery that saves water and energy is in high demand. Major imports include: taps, drinking water coolers, dish washing machines, machinery for food and beverage preparations, packaging and wrapping machinery and bakery and pasta manufacturing machinery.
The National Chamber of the Processed Foods Industry estimates this market at USD$65 billion dollars. 85% of production is for local consumption and the remaining 15% is for exports. The sector is expected to grow 6% to 8% this year.
The processed food machinery and equipment is mainly served by the United States, Italy, Germany, Spain, China and South Korea. The United States is the leader in several subsectors, such as: sugar manufacturing equipment, crushers, conveyors, taps, grinding, screening, emulsifying, milking machines and parts, among others.