Packaged food sees healthy growth
Chile’s healthy economy and falling unemployment supported strong growth in packaged food in 2018. With consumers leading increasingly busy lives there was growing demand for convenient products towards the end of the review period, with ready meals seeing particularly strong retail volume growth, while in other areas such as vegetables ready-to-cook options proved popular. Health and wellness also remains a key issue and is projected to have a significant impact on packaged food. Furthermore, consumers have begun seeking out natural and nutritious options, which favoured products such as butter, cheese and dark chocolate in 2018.
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Premiumisation helping to drive value growth
With Chile’s packaged food industry being relatively saturated there was a growing premiumisation trend towards the end of the review period, supported by rising disposable income and falling unemployment. This was seen in a number of categories with companies looking to add value to their ranges, such as the introduction of gourmet burgers and organic fruit and vegetables. With Chile’s economy expected to see steady growth over the forecast period this should encourage more players to introduce premium lines, with healthy options likely to be the most successful, although indulgence will likely also be a key feature.
Healthy options proving popular
Dairy saw one of the stronger performances in 2018 thanks to the growing trend towards natural and nutritious products such as butter and cheese. This trend towards naturally healthy products was also reflected in the strong growth of products such as processed fruit and vegetables and meat and seafood. Companies have looked to provide premium options to win back consumers, with chocolate confectionery remaining an important part of the Chilean diet in spite of recent health concerns.
Convenience remains another key trend in terms of sales to consumer foodservice with these operators looking to quickly and efficiently service their customers. This was reflected in the strong growth of ready meals in 2018, while sauces, dressings and condiments also performed well. Leading players in the retail channel such as Nestlé, Watt’s, Empresas Carozzi, Soprole and Agrosuper also have foodservice/professional divisions and are well placed to cater to this demand for convenient and healthy packaged food, with many of their brands already being familiar to customers.