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Mexico’s confectionery industry

October 1, 2019
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Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Domestic production surpasses demand and Mexico is an exporter in this category, but Wisconsin companies can support domestic production with raw materials, machinery, packaging, etc.

Mexico is currently the world’s eighth-largest producer of cocoa beans and its sixth-largest producer of sugar in the world, which allows it to cover domestic confectionery demand and having a surplus for exports.

According to the National Association of Chocolate and Candy Manufacturers (CONFIMEX), per capita consumption of chocolate in Mexico is relatively low, estimated at only 0.75 kilograms per person per year, while candy consumption is estimated at more than 4 kilograms per person. Mexico is also the world’s second-largest consumer of chewing gum, with a per capita consumption of 0.5 kilos per year, behind only the U.S.

According to the National Institute of Statistics (INEGI), total confectionery consumption in Mexico in volume is not necessarily accurate since estimations include non-confectionery products such as chocolate de mesa to be mixed with hot milk or typical candies. According to Asociación Nacional de Fabricantes de Chocolates, Dulces y Similares (ASCHOCO), more than 1,000 companies manufacture candy products, around 200 companies manufacturing chocolate products and close to 30 companies produce gum. It is important to take into account that several companies produce more than one type of confectionery product, and a few produce all three types of confectionery.

The confectionery industry is estimated to employ more than 30,000 people directly. According to the same source, between 80% and 90% of all candy products are marketed to children, while chocolates and gum typically target adult consumers. An estimated three-quarters of all confectionery products in Mexico are distributed by wholesalers called abarroteros, who distribute confectionery products to small and midsize retailers, while the remaining 25% is distributed via large retailers such as supermarkets, hypermarkets, department stores, convenience stores and other specialty stores. Mexico’s domestic production is large enough to satisfy demand and generate a surplus that goes to exports. The international trade of candy in Mexico follows a similar pattern to that of gums: since the domestic production of candy is strong, exports are large, and imports are close to negligible. While export activities seem erratic at times, it can be stated that during the 2009-2016 period these have increased by around 77% while imports remain only a fraction of total exports, around 13% during 2009 and around 11% by 2016, generating a large surplus on the trade balance.

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