Healthy snacking and ‘scratch ingredients’ opportunity to win in Mexico, new report suggests

Photo: Culinary Visions Panel

A new report found that preparing a meal together and sharing a meal at home is important to Mexican consumers—so what does this mean for packaged food companies?

“[There’s] a significant opportunity for packaged food and beverage companies to offer speed scratch ingredients that make it easy for consumers to create authentic meals at home,” Sharon Olson, executive director of Culinary Visions Panel, told FoodNavigator-USA.

She heads up the company behind a new report that surveyed 1,000 Mexican consumers to put a finger on the pulse of dining trends. From the survey, we learn that, compared to the US and Canada, Mexican consumers are less likely to trade taste for healthfulness, and attach great importance to dining with family.

Healthy snacking at work

Most respondents said that they liked to take a break in the middle of the day and get a treat or snack (71% agreed and strongly agreed), and a majority (70%) said that quality ingredients in their food matter when eating at work.

The healthiness of what they eat at work can be seen from the whopping 61% that are willing to compromise on taste if they are eating something healthy, “this compares to consumers in the US and Canada who are less willing to compromise on taste for healthfulness (25%),” the report said.

And if anything is a testament to how seriously Mexicans take their meals, only 43% said that they usually skip lunch at work—less than the 55% in the US and Canada.

Preparing a meal together

Hence, it makes sense that home or away, Mexicans prefer a full meal. In fact, the act of preparing a meal is important to 69% of respondents, and 76% said that sharing a meal together with family is important.

Though Mexicans are less likely to take inspiration from their northern neighbors and open up a bag of chips or box of cereal throughout the day instead of having few, full meals, there’s still plenty of opportunity for packaged food companies to get creative.

“In many major cities in Mexico you will find markets with vendors offering ingredients that are very labor intensive and not realistic for today's convenience driven consumer to make at home,” Olson said.

“Mole sauce is a great example. The consumer has the satisfaction of preparing a meal and the benefit of time to enjoy it with family.”

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