Specialty Retailers are Fresh Options in Latin America

Specialty Retailers are Fresh Options in Latin America

Latin America’s warm climate and sustainable agriculture serve up a bounty of fresh food options for consumers, fueling frequent shopping trips for everything from tantalizing fruits to tasty baked goods. Latin Americans shop for fresh foods an average of three times per week, but make four trips a week for bread and bakery products.

While fresh foods contribute roughly 25 percent of modern trade grocery store sales in the region on average, open air markets are also important destinations for shoppers in Latin America, according to new findings from the Nielsen Global Survey of Fresh Foods, which surveyed more than 29,000 respondents with Internet access from 58 countries.

While seasonality factors affect fresh purchasing behavior, buying patterns remain relatively consistent in the region due to the variety and availability of fresh categories throughout the year. When prices rise for out-of-season fruits and vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes and onions, consumers switch to other products like beans, which are inexpensive.

Traditional, small self-service mom and pop stores are most common throughout the region, but supermarkets are popular destinations for consumers’ fresh food needs: about one-third of respondents make trips there to buy fish and produce, four-in-10 for meat and poultry, and more than half (54%) for dairy products. Comparatively, roughly one-third of respondents shop for their fresh foods at specialty retailers such as butchers, bakeries and open market fruit and vegetable shops.


“As retail competition intensifies between grocery chains and traditional trade retailers, the key differentiating factor for Latin American shoppers will be a focus on the quality and freshness of fruit, vegetables and meat,” said Rick Parra, director, Retail Service, Nielsen Latin America.

Strategies To Win

“Shoppers associate a clean store with high-quality products that are fresh and appealing,” said Parra. “Ensure good lighting, keep aisles clean, dry and clear of empty cartons, and remove rotting products immediately from the shelves.”

Other notable findings include:

  • Top retailer attributes for selecting where to shop for fresh foods.
  • In the U.S., fresh foods purchasing is growing in non-grocery channels.
  • Fresh foods contribute more than 50 percent of food, grocery and personal care spending in most Asian countries.
  • Spending on fresh foods varies dramatically throughout Europe.

For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Global Fresh Foods Report.