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Strong demand for snack foods in Mexico

April 1, 2019
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Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: A rising need for food that can be eaten on the go is creating opportunities for Wisconsin food product exporters.

The value of snacks and savory snack sales in Mexico is expected to grow at a compound annualized growth rate (CAGR) of 3%, while retail volume sales are expected to grow at a CAGR of 2%. The entire category is expected to benefit from as the trend toward busier lifestyles in Mexico, and the accompanying growth in demand for more convenient packaged food products. Snacks and savory snacks are widely available and easy to eat, even while on the go, and, in most cases are very affordable. Private label penetration is above average in the ethnic/traditional snacks, popcorn, and nuts and seeds categories, whereas consumers still prefer branded processed snacks, pretzels and potato chips over private labels. In Mexico, there are 130 registered snack and fritter companies; of these, 6% are large companies, 14% midsize enterprises, 20% small businesses and 60% microenterprises. These companies are located primarily mainly in Mexico City, Jalisco and Nuevo Leon, with the rest distributed among other cities. The total market value is $5.31 million, of which 80% is generated by large companies and the remaining 20% by the midsize, small and micro enterprises.

At the forefront of the industry in Mexico is Pepsi-Cola, which owns Sabritas, a company that stands out as a leader in the industry with a 70% share, followed by Grupo Industrial Bimbo, with 20% market share. While these two giants control the market, other companies have good participation, including Xignux, who has participated since 2003 with Leo and Snaki brand; Procter & Gamble, which participates in the Mexican market with the Pringles brand; and FEMSA, which is involved in the market through its bottler Arca, which produces and markets Coca-Cola brand soft drinks and has also acquired Botanas and Bokados.

Specific documents required for food products in Mexico:

  • Commercial invoice. Required as long as the goods have a commercial value in domestic or foreign currency above $300. May be issued by domestic or foreign suppliers and submitted in original or copy.
  • Packing list (list of contents). Describing the contents of each packet sent. Numbers must match the commercial invoice.
  • Individual merchandise description. This description must be recorded in the corresponding import request on the invoice, shipping document or attached list to bring the number of the corresponding petition, and must be signed by the importer, customs agent or legal representative.

If food products are to be sold in Mexican territory, the importer must be registered with COFEPRIS (the Federal Commissions for Protection of Sanitary Risks). COFEPRIS requires that every import must have a storage facility in the country and submit a notice of along with the corresponding COFEPRIS codes for the articles.

COFEPRIS classifies all products in this category with the code “SCIAN.” Salty snacks are under code 431192 (fractures y botanies). Snacks are under code 311340, for which it is necessary to submit a notice of operations to COFEPRIS. The format and instructions can be downloaded from  and sections 1 through 4 must be filled in. No payment of fees is required.

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