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top selling products

The Hottest Products among Latin American Consumers in 2013

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

To find out more how we can help you reach Latin American consumers with a strategic media campaigns, please contact us.


The Hottest Growth Markets in Latin America

As Latin America’s economies continue to grow and more and more consumers emerge—particularly those from the middle class—the region has produced a number of growth markets. After reviewing dozens of studies, we’ve identified 8 different product categories that have posted impressive growth in recent years and seem to poised to grow even further in the near future. For marketing and media professionals, these growth trends may offer some hints as to where advertising dollars may be headed.

While there aren’t figures available for the entire region, many of Latin America’s markets are seeing spiking sales of appliances. For example, in 2011 appliance sales went up by 25% in Argentina, by 20% in Colombia, by 16.6% in Brazil and by 16% in Peru. While sales figures for Mexico have not been published, research firm Global Insight has projected that appliance consumption in Mexico should increase by 11.6% through 2015.

Coffee Shops
Over the past few years Latin America has been growing as a market for specialty coffee shops. According to research firm Euromonitor International, by 2016 Latin America will contribute 13% of the world’s total value of specialty coffee shops. In Mexico, the specialty coffee shop segment has more than doubled since 2006 and Colombia is expected to contribute US$212 million in new value to this market. Given the growth, it’s not surprising that Starbucks has announced plans to open hundreds of shops in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina over the next few years. The strategy for brands like Starbucks seems to be to focus on the premium quality of its products and the ambience of its stores.

According to Euromonitor, the Latin American cosmetics market grew by 20% in 2010 to reach US$64 billion—it’s the fourth-largest cosmetics market in the world. This regional growth is fueled by key individual markets, starting with Brazil. In 2011, Brazil’s cosmetics market posted US$43 billion in sales, an increase of 18.9% compared to 2010. Also in 2011, cosmetics consumption in Peru grew by 13% to reach US$290 per person. In fact, Peru now ranks #5 in cosmetics consumption per person in Latin America, behind Venezuela (US$390), Brazil (US$380), Mexico (US$330) y Colombia (US$320). It’s estimated that Peru’s cosmetics consumption per capita will grow by 9% in 2012 to reach US$318 per person.
In Mexico, the country’s US$9.1 billion-dollar cosmetics market grew by 7.6% in 2010 and by 8% in 2011. It’s projected to grow by another 5% in 2012, a greater rate than the country’s GDP.  In Chile, the cosmetics market grew by 11% between April 2011 and April 2012, with overall growth for 2012 projected to be 7%. Argentina’s cosmetics market posted 40% growth in value and 12% in volume in 2011 to reach US$200 million.

Pet Care
According to research firm Euromonitor International, spending on pet care products in Latin America has risen by 44% during the past 5 years to reach $11 billion. Brazil is the largest pet care market in Latin America, registering sales of US$5.2 billion in 2010, followed by Mexico (US$1 billion in sales) and Argentina (US$645 million). Despite being a smaller market in terms of pet care, Chile has the highest rates of both dog ownership (60% of households owned a dog in 2011) and cat ownership (31% of households). As such, it’s not surprising that that the pet care market in Chile has grown by 20% over the past 5 years. Peru is another growing market in pet care, posting 25% growth in 2011.

According to the market research report Emerging Pharmaceutical Markets in Latin America, Argentina, Chile, Colombia Peru and Venezuela should see their pharmaceutical markets grow significantly between 2012 and 2016. The report projects 8% annual growth for Colombia’s pharmaceuticals market until 2016 and 20.8% annual growth in this sector for Venezuela.
Overall, the Latin American pharmaceutical market is worth more than US$60 billion per year, equivalent to 7% of global pharmaceutical sales.
Brazil, not surprisingly, has the largest pharmaceutical market in Latin America and in fact its market ranks 7th in the world. Mexico’s pharmaceutical market ranks #14 in the world but is #2 in Latin America—it was worth US$11.4 billion in 2010, up significantly from its US$7 billion worth in 2004. IMS predicts that Mexico’s pharmaceutical market will grow by 6% per year to reach US$13 billion by 2014. For its part, Argentina’s pharmaceutical market grew by 26% in 2011 to reach 17 billion pesos (US$3.6 billion).

Soft Drinks
Between 2004 and 2010, Latin America was the region that grew the most in the consumption of energy drinks: 31%. In addition, by 2016 the per capita volume of soft drink consumption in Latin America will equal that of Western Europe. Households in Latin America spend a greater proportion of their income on soft drinks than on any other region: 4%. A study from Yale University’s Rudd Center indicates that Mexico is the world’s biggest consumer of soft drinks, with a per capita consumption that’s 40% higher than that of the United States.

Sun Care Products
In 2011 Latin America posted US$1.7 billion in sales of sun care products, up significantly from the US$1.4 billion in sales in 2010. Global sales of sun care products was US$9.3 billion, which means that Latin America accounted for 18% of sales, just behind North America. In addition, Euromonitor projects that Brazil’s growth could propel Latin America into the #2 spot in sun care product sales by 2016.

In 2011 Latin America accounted for about 9.2% of the worldwide toy market. While the region’s share isn’t as large as that of Europe or Asia, it’s important to note that Latin America is the world’s fastest-growing toy region in the world: its annual retail sales growth is between 6-8%. The combination of the region’s growth in both per capita income and population of children are helping drive Latin America’s toy market. Top categories in terms of sales include dolls, building sets and infant/preschool products. Latin America was responsible for 14.4% of Mattel’s worldwide sales in 2011 and for 7.8% of Hasbro’s worldwide sales.

To explore how we can help you reach Latin America’s growth markets through a campaign in any type of media, please contact us.

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