top selling products

The Hottest Products among Latin American Consumers in 2013

This post is also available in: Spanish

Back in 2012 we researched top-selling products in Latin America and we also explored some of Latin America’s hottest growth markets. However, given that new sales results for different sectors have become available, we decided to share them to help marketers, advertisers and media professionals in their planning for 2014.



As in 2012, appliances are still selling strongly in many Latin American markets. In Argentina appliances sales went up by more than 17% in the first quarter of 2013 and by another 20% in the second quarter. IBOPE recently projected that appliance consumption in Brazil will increase by nearly 12% in 2013 and that class C will account for 44% of appliance consumption in the country. In Peru, sales of appliances are expected to increase by 11% in 2013 and may total more than US$1.4 billion. Appliances sales in Colombia should increase by 6% in 2013. Data for Mexico with regard to appliances sales seems to be scarce, although a recent report from Euromonitor noted that in 2012 large cooking appliances sales in Mexico went up by 4% to reach more than 2.2 million units.
Sources: Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas y Censo, IBOPE, Cámara de Comercio de Lima, GfK

In the first half of 2013, Argentina set a record for car sales with nearly 500,000 units, up 8% compared to the first half of 2012. Brazil posted a 5% increase in car sales in the first half of 2013 and overall it’s projected that the country will have a 4% increase in car sales in all of 2013. Car sales rose by 17% in Chile during the first half of 2013, with overall sales of 214,273 units. For its part, Peru posted a 15% increase in new car sales from January to July 2013, with 115,548 units sold. Another Latam market showing strong growth in car sales is Panama: the country posted a 17% increase in car sales between January and July of 2013, with 31,745 cars sold.
Sources: Asociación de Concesionarias de Automotores de la República Argentina, Fenabrave, La Asociación Nacional Automotriz de Chile, Asociación de Representantes Automotrices del Perú, Asociación de Distribuidores de Automóviles de Panamá.

While 2012 saw growth in all types of computer sales in Latin America, things have changed in 2013. Overall PC sales are down in many markets in Latin America. However, smaller, more portable computers are seeing a sales lift. In the second quarter of 2013, tablet sales went up 171% in Latin America while overall computer sales were down by 5% in this quarter. Argentina was the market with the most impressive surge in tablet sales during Q2 2013, posting a 384% increase. During the second quarter in Brazil, tablet sales went up by 151% while PC sales were down by 10%. While no recent tablet sales figures seem to be available for Mexico, in June 2013 it was projected that Mexicans would buy 3.8 million tablets this year, up significantly from the 1.6 million they bought in 2012. For their part, Peruvians will buy 450,000 tablets in 2013, up from 225,000 in 2012.
Sources: IDC, AOC

Luxury Products

With the region’s strengthening economies and increase in affluent consumers, luxury markets are growing in different Latin America countries. Brazil’s luxury market grew by 24% in 2012 and is projected to post 25% growth over the next 5 years. In Chile, sales of luxury clothes and watches are growing by 14% per year. Mexico posted 15% growth in its luxury market in 2012 with US$12 billion in sales and is expected to post US$14 billion in luxury sales in 2013. Overall, it’s projected that luxury sales will grow by 12% in Central and South America in 2013.
Sources: Digital Group, Sociedad de Marcas de Lujo (AML), Hays, Bain & Co.


In 2012 the pharmaceutical market in Latin America grew by 15.8%, an even bigger rate of growth than the Asian pharma market (10%). Among the markets with the most growth, not surprisingly, is Brazil, which should see pharmaceutical sales double to reach R$ 100 billion (US$50 billion) by 2017; in fact, the country’s growth has even attracted U.S. pharmacy chains like CVS, which bought the Paulo drugstores chain, and Walgreens, which is currently looking to purchase a local chain. Other countries feature strong growth projections for their pharmaceutical markets in 2013, including Mexico (4.4%), Chile (8%) and Colombia (6%). Another study that looked at the growth of pharmaceutical markets worldwide showed that Venezuela’s pharma market posted 26% growth between June 2012 and June 2013, while in the same period Argentina’s pharma market grew by 23%, Brazil’s by 15% and Mexico’s by 5%. For its part, Peru posted nearly 16% growth in its retail pharmaceutical market during the first half of 2013.
Sources: IMS Health, Brasilpar, Deloitte, Cámara Farmacéutica de la Andi, Asociación Nacional de Laboratorios Farmacéuticos


A recent report listed the countries that consume the most carbonated drinks. Argentina topped the list, with an annual carbonate consumption of 131 liters per person, followed by Chile (121 liters per person) and Mexico (119). For comparison purposes, the United States was in 4th place with 112. Uruguay also made the top 10, with 87 liters per person. Paraguay registered 71 liters per person, not far from Ireland, #10 on the list with 74 liters per person. And Brazil and Guatemala weren’t that far out of the top 10 either, each posting 67 liters per person.
Beyond this ranking, other market indicators suggest the popularity of sodas in Latin America. A recently published study that showed that sodas represented nearly half of Mexico’s total beverage spending. While soft drink consumption went up a modest 1.9% in Colombia in 2012, it grew by 9.2% in Chile and will grow by 3% in Peru.
Sources: Euromonitor, Kantar Worldpanel, Corporación de Cervecerías Unidas, Asociación Nacional de Bebidas Refrescantes, Ajegroup


A 2013 study by Visa that focused on travel habits of 25 major markets found that Brazil is among the top 5 countries in travel spending. Brazilians spend an average of US$3,000 during international trips and rank in 4th place behind travelers from Saudi Arabia, Australia, China and South Africa.
August 2013 was the most recent month in which travel spending numbers were released by Brazil’s Central Bank. In that month, Brazilian travelers spent US$2.22 billion on their trips abroad, nearly 16% more than they did in August 2012. In addition, Brazilian travelers spent nearly US$17 billion on foreign travel between January and August 2013, nearly 15% more than in the same period during 2012.
Beyond Brazil, Argentines increased their foreign travel by 15% in 2012 and spent a record amount during their travels in 2012: US$3.1 billion. The pattern seems to be holding in this year as foreign travel by Argentines increased by 15% during the second quarter. The most recent figures released were for July 2013, during which the amount of Argentines traveling outside the country went up nearly 10% compared to July 2012.
For Chileans, foreign travel went up by 6% in 2012 yet domestic travel increased even more: by 15%. Costa Ricans have increased their foreign travel by 50% since 2004 and Colombians increased their foreign travel in 2012 by 24%. More than 15 million Mexicans traveled abroad in 2012, the largest amount since 2000. Mexican travelers spent more than US$8 billion on foreign travel in 2012, a 7% increase compared to 2012.
Sources: Visa, Banco Central do Brasil, Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos de Argentina, Ecolatina, Sernatur, Insitituto Costarricense de Turismo, Ministro de Comercio, Industria y Turismo, Banco Central


Consumers in a number of Latin American countries have significantly increased their purchases of wine. In Mexico, wine consumption went up by more than 100% between 2000 and 2010. In Argentina, 3 out of 4 homes buy wine and the country is the region’s #1 consumer of wine. Uruguay is in second place in Latin America in terms of wine consumption and ranks #12 in the world, while Chile ranks #20. Wine consumption in Colombia has gone up by 61% since 2007 and in Brazil, it has doubled since 2000. In Peru, sales of high-end wines have tripled since 2009.
Sources: Consejo Mexicano Vitivinícola, Kantar Worldpanel, Grupo Agenda Internacional, Euromonitor, Instituto de Assessoria Mercadológica & Mercadométrica

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