Nestle this week announced plans to acquire a majority stake in Guatemalan soups-to-curry producer Malher Group.

Here we take a look at the Guatemalan market with the help of two Euromonitor reports; Sauces, Dressings and Condiments in Guatemala, and Canned/Preserved Food in Guatemala.

  • In 2009, the global economic downturn caused Guatemala’s exports, remittances from abroad and tourism revenues to decrease. While most packaged food sectors continued to show growth in volume and current value terms, growth rates were slower than in 2008 as the downturn forced many Guatemalan consumers to tighten their belts. Demand for non-essential items, particularly luxury or indulgence products (eg, confectionery, ice cream) were worst affected by this trend.
  • Domestic brands accounted for the largest share of total meal solutions current value sales at the end of 2009. Leading local companies like Malher tend to identify their brands with Guatemalan people in marketing campaigns, making it harder for foreign companies like Unilever and Nestlé to compete with them. Moreover, domestic players are much better informed about the traditional tastes and preferences of Guatemalan consumers, an important advantage when it comes to developing new meal solutions, products and flavour variants.
  • Canned/preserved foods registered value sales of GTQ402m (US$50.3m) during 2009. Alimentos Kern de Guatemala, Codico and Del Monte Foods led sales, with respective shares of 22%, 20% and 19% each. Although there is still potential to grow, canned/ preserved food will do so at a slower rate than previously forecast as slower economic growth, export revenue and remittances from abroad will diminish incomes in the short term. Sales are expected to grow 21.3% to GTQ489.4m by 2014.
  • Sauces, dressings and condiments in Guatemala reported sales of GTQ760m in 2009. Low fat mayonnaise was the fastest growth category in 2009, with a value increase of 16%. Wet/cooking sauces in Guatemala were dominated by imported brands. Barbeque sauces like Kraft and marinades like Badia were popular among upper-income consumers. Malher and Alimentos Kern de Guatemala SA have been leaders in Guatemalan sauces, dressings and condiments for around 50 years.
  • Sauces, dressings and condiments in Guatemala have a projected forecast period (2009-2014) retail volume CAGR of 4%. The introduction of new healthier products and flavours will drive sales over the forecast period. Growth in sales is expected to reach GTQ906m by 2014, an 18.2% increase on the 2009 period.