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Latin American foodservice market the fastest growing region throughout the globe

Industry Sector

Food and Drink


8 November 2012


Matt Bodimeade

Type of News


The Latin American foodservice market recorded value growth of 11% in 2071, making it the fastest growing region throughout the globe, a fact that has certainly caught the attention of global operators.

Brazil is forecast to see the third largest absolute growth in chained consumer foodservice in the world over 2011-2016, at just over US$6 billion. US$4.5 billion of that growth will be in chained fast food. Despite its large group of increasingly affluent urban consumers, Brazil ranks 25th in per capita spending on the foodservice market at US$781.

Though currently one of the smaller specialist coffee shop regions, Latin America is seeing a growing café culture driven by urban consumers seeking out low-priced ways to participate in the premium foodservice market.

Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia will all offer specialist coffee shop opportunities for chains over the next five years, provided they can carve out a niche amongst the region's long-standing traditional coffee-drinking culture. Coffee in Brazil, for example, is typically very inexpensive and consumed at one of the country's plentiful small, independent bakeries; however, Starbucks is making a strong push into the region.

Growing demand for delivery and takeaway is a common theme across Latin America. In Mexico and Colombia, demand is growing due to traffic woes and, in Mexico, security issues.Latin American Foodservice

Urbanisation and overall population expansion bode well for fastfood expansion in Latin America. At present 78% of South America's population lives in urban areas. In nations like Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela more than 20% of the nation's population is concentrated in the capital city. This concentration of population allows major fastfood franchises to carve out a strong market share while focusing on only one or a handful of urban markets per nation.

The two main players that have emerged in Latin America are McDonald's and the Tricon restaurants (KFC and Pizza Hut). International franchises have established a strong presence in most nations of the region, yet there is still room for local chains to thrive in metropolitan areas.

For more information on the Latin American foodservice market, see the latest research: Latin American Foodservice Market

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