How Healthy is Your Country?

To understand what is driving health and wellness in each of the 54 countries researched, we publish in-depth country reports. Spanning seven regions, the reports highlight what is behind local healthy food and beverage trends and which local companies are proving to be successful.

First up: Mexico

Mexico is the first of our country reports on the list of 54 to be published. Mexico achieved health and wellness value sales of Mx$300 billion in 2012 (equivalent to US$22.3 billion), up 8% on 2011. However, it is a highly fragmented market and there is no dominant player. In 2012, only two companies held more than a 10% share of total sales – bakery giant Grupo Bimbo with a 12.1% share and multinational heavyweight Groupe Danone with 9.6%.

A fascinating emerging market for health and wellness players, Mexico has the highest rate of obesity in the world. As consumers become more aware of the link between poor nutritional habits and ubiquitous ailments such as coronary disease, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, which are affecting a large portion of the Mexican population, the growth of health and wellness products is guaranteed.

Key findings include:

  1. Health and wellness products, which are often more expensive than their conventional counterparts, have benefited from the expansion of modern retailers, which attract a more affluent clientele than traditional retailers.
  2. Naturally Healthy (NH) packaged food in Mexico remained underdeveloped in 2012, accounting for only 9% of total health and wellness packaged food sales. The majority of NH sales are accounted for by high fibre products, soy drinks and NH sweet and savoury snacks.
  3. Fortified/functional remained the largest category within the health and wellness industry in 2012, accounting for 40% of total sales. Leading fortified/functional beverages include concentrates, flavoured powder hot drinks, sports drinks, bottled water, instant coffee and juice-based drinks. The reason for this much wider variety than in other health and wellness categories is that it is relatively easy to add vitamins and minerals to products.
  4. Superfruit juice is seeing an increased presence in the country. The launch of Del Valle Antiox juice in 2010, which quickly penetrated stores (mostly modern retailers), increased the level of interest in superfruit juice. The term “super frutas” is not very popular in the country so instead companies are highlighting the antioxidant properties of these fruits, thus helping antioxidants to become a minor nutrition craze.