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Sector Trend Analysis – Baby food in Mexico

June 2018

Executive summary

  • Mexico is the second-largest market in Latin America for baby food, worth US$980 million. From 2013 to 2017, Mexico’s baby food market posted a compound annual growth rate of 6%.
  • Mexico ranks first in the Latin American region for health and wellness baby food retail sales. In 2017, the health and wellness category made up 95% of the total retail sales for baby food.
  • The baby food sector is led by international rather than domestic companies in Mexico, with Nestlé positioned as the leading player.
  • 31% of the baby food in Mexico is bought in health and beauty specialists, such as pharmacies and parapharmacies.

Contents

Introduction

In 2017, there were an estimated 6.1 million babies and toddlers aged between 0 and 2 years old in Mexico. Numbers for this cohort have been slowly decreasing in recent years due to declining trends in birth rates. By 2030, the number of babies and infants is projected to fall to 5.8 million, accounting for 4.2% of the population (down from 5% of the total population in 2016).

Despite falling birth rates, however, the baby food market in Mexico has been growing at good pace in recent years and is expected to achieve similar performance up to 2022. This is largely due to the increasing number of women joining the workforce who tend to replace breastfeeding with milk formula at the end of a relatively short maternity leave, and to start purchasing prepared and dried baby food in order to save time.

The Mexican baby food market – Year-on-year growth (%)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17E 2017-18F
7.6 6.8 4.9 5.9 5.8 7.1 5.6

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017.

E: Estimate.

F: Forecast.

In Mexico, breastfeeding rates are lower than those recommended by the World Health Organization. According to a national survey (Encuesta Nacional de Salud y Nutrición 2012, cited by Euromonitor International, 2017), a mere 14% of the babies aged six months or less are fed with breast milk only (down from 22% in 2006), one of the lowest rates in Latin America. After their first year of life, only 36% of babies continue to consume breast milk. These low rates can partly be explained by the relatively short maternity leave, which is 12 weeks in Mexico. Women are also often embarrassed to breastfeed in publicFootnote 1. This is a concern for the government who has taken several measures to promote breastfeeding, such as prohibiting hospitals, clinics, and baby food companies from promoting milk formula, unless strictly necessary and endorsed with a medical prescription.

At the same time, Mexico is one of the countries making the fastest progress against child malnutrition (Save the Children, 2012). Mexicans have become especially aware of the importance of feeding their babies with foods that can meet their nutrient requirements. As a consequence, 95% of the total baby food retail sales are in the health and wellness category.

Retail sales

Mexico is one of the largest markets in Latin America for baby food, worth US$980 millions, only second after Brazil. However, it is well ahead of Brazil for health and wellness baby food retail sales, valued at US$871 millions in 2016.

Top markets in Latin America for baby food, 2016 – Retail sales, US$ millions
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
Country Total baby food Health and wellness baby food
Mexico 915.1 871.6
Brazil 1,163.5 626.0
Peru 264.8 253.1
Ecuador 193.5 168.6
Colombia 211.9 150.1
Chile 182.9 137.5

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017.

From 2013 to 2017, baby food posted a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6%. Milk formula is the most popular category among Mexican consumers. Despite all of the efforts by the authorities to promote breastfeeding, consumer demand for milk formula is still on the rise, as reflected by an important increase in retail sales from 2013 and 2017.

Special milk formula has outperformed within that category, growing at an estimated CAGR of 17% from 2013 to 2017. Special baby milk formula is designed to nourish babies with allergies, that cannot digest standard milk formula, or to address specific conditions such as reflux or diarrhea. The growth of this subcategory is being supported by an increasing number of paediatricians who prescribe it, not only as a treatment, but also to prevent certain conditions (Euromonitor International, 2017).

Retail sales of milk formula are almost exclusively in powder formats, since only two companies offer liquid milk formula in Mexico, according to Euromonitor International (2017).

Mexican baby food market, by category Historic retail sales (US$ millions) and growth (%) – 2017 fixed exchange rates
Category 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017E CAGR* 2013-2017E
Dried baby food 21.0 21.8 23.1 24.8 26.9 6%
Prepared baby food 77.7 80.5 85.1 93.3 104.0 8%
Other baby food 5.0 5.1 4.8 5.2 6.3 6%
Milk formula 674.7 709.5 752.2 791.8 843.2 6%
Standard milk formula (powder) 126.1 129.7 132.7 132.7 134.4 2%
Follow-on milk formula (powder) 165.4 169.9 176.2 182.3 191.3 4%
Growing-up milk formula (powder) 281.7 288.0 301.1 313.0 328.3 4%
Special baby milk formula (powder) 101.5 121.9 142.3 163.8 189.3 17%
Total baby food 778.3 816.8 865.3 915.1 980.4 6%

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017.

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate.

E: Estimate.

Mexican baby food market, by category Forecast retail sales (US$ millions) and growth (%) – 2017 fixed exchange rates
Category 2018F 2019F 2020F 2021F 2022F CAGR* 2018-2022F
Dried baby food 28.2 29.6 31.1 32.7 34.3 5%
Prepared baby food 111.2 117.3 124.7 132.9 141.6 6%
Other baby food 7.2 8.0 8.8 9.7 10.6 10%
Milk formula 889.1 936.7 988.8 1,045.3 1,106.3 6%
Standard milk formula (powder) 135.0 136.2 138.0 140.2 142.7 1%
Follow-on milk formula (powder) 197.5 203.9 211.1 218.6 226.6 3%
Growing-up milk formula (powder) 344.7 361.5 380.2 400.4 422.2 5%
Special baby milk formula (powder) 211.9 235.1 259.6 286.1 314.9 10%
Total baby food 1,035.7 1,091.6 1,153.4 1,220.6 1,292.9 6%

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017.

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate.

F: Forecast.

Concerning legislation, advertisements for milk formula must expressly communicate that the product is recommended only if the baby is intolerant to breast milk or if the mother is unable to breastfeed (Reglamento de la Ley General de Salud en Materia de Publicidad). Companies must avoid promoting standard and follow-on milk formula, which can only be recommended by pediatricians. However, growing-up milk formula (for children aged over 12 months) can be advertised freely (Euromonitor International, 2017).

Health and wellness

The health and wellness baby food market has been expanding steadily from 2013 to 2017 in Mexico, and now accounts for 95% of the total baby food retail sales. When it comes to baby food, parents are especially concerned about its safety and nutritional value. Thus, many brands are enhancing the nutritional content of their products by adding functional ingredients such as vitamins or minerals. These functional/fortified products make up most of the sales in the health and wellness baby food category.

In terms of growth, organic baby food, and particularly organic prepared baby food, recorded the strongest performance during that period at compound annual growth rates of 23% and 34% respectively, although organic is still a niche segment due to its high unit prices. Other types of health and wellness products that have been developing at compound annual growth rates of over 15% during the review period are free from lactose milk and hypo-allergenic milk formula, which are all bigger markets than organic. For all the types of food mentioned above, it is expected that retail sales will keep increasing between 2018 and 2022, although at slightly lower rates.

The only health and wellness subcategory that posted a negative compound annual growth rate during the review period was “other baby food”, which includes any other products marketed for babies such as baby rusks or teething biscuits.

Mexican health and wellness (HW) baby food market, by type Historic retail sales (US$ millions) and growth (%) – 2017 fixed exchange rates
Category 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017E CAGR* 2013-2017E
Functional/fortified baby food 642.3 657.9 682.8 705.4 738.6 4%
Free from lactose baby food 47.5 58.0 67.8 75.4 82.2 15%
Hypo-allergenic milk formula 54.0 63.9 74.5 88.5 107.0 19%
Organic baby food 1.5 2.0 1.4 2.4 3.4 23%
Total HW baby food 745.4 781.7 826.5 871.6 931.3 6%

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017.

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate.

E: Estimate.

Mexican health and wellness (HW) baby food market, by type Forecast retail sales (US$ millions) and growth (%) – 2017 fixed exchange rates
Category 2018F 2019F 2020F 2021F 2022F CAGR* 2018-2022F
Functional/fortified baby food 766.8 797.0 830.4 866.3 904.7 4%
Free from lactose baby food 88.6 95.9 104.1 113.5 123.9 9%
Hypo-allergenic milk formula 123.3 139.2 155.5 172.7 190.9 12%
Organic baby food 4.2 5.2 6.3 7.6 9.1 21%
Total HW baby food 982.9 1,037.2 1,096.3 1,160.0 1,228.7 6%

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017.

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate.

F: Forecast.

Company and brand shares

In Mexico, the baby food sector is led by international companies, while domestic brands do not have a significant presence (Euromonitor International, 2017). Nestlé is clearly dominating the market with an estimated 57.2% retail sales share in 2017, outperforming its competitors in all categories, and controlling over 90% of the dried baby food, prepared baby food and other baby food categories.

Market concentration of baby food in Mexico, by company - Retail sales value % breakdown - Baby food
Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017E
Nestlé SA 58.1 58.2 57.8 57.5 57.2
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc (RB) N/A N/A N/A N/A 14.7
Abbott Laboratories Inc. 7.5 7.6 7.5 7.5 7.4
Aspen Pharmacare (Pty) Ltd. 6.8 6.5 6.3 6.1 6.2
United Pharmaceuticals SA 3 3 3 3.1 3.1
Groupe Danone 2.6 2.9 3 3 3.1
Kraft Heinz Co. N/A N/A 0.7 0.8 0.9
BristolN/AMyers Squibb Co. N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Campbell Soup Co. 0.2 0.2 0.1 N/A N/A
Heinz Co, HJ 0.5 0.6 N/A N/A N/A
Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. 13.3 13.3 14 14.6 N/A
Pfizer Inc. N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Wyeth N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Others 8 7.8 7.6 7.5 7.5

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017.

E: Estimate.

N/A: Not available.

Note: In the health and wellness category, the data for 2017 was not yet available at the time of writing this report.

Market concentration of baby food in Mexico, by company - Retail sales value % breakdown - Dried baby food
Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017E
Nestlé SA 100 100 99.7 99.7 99.7
Others N/A N/A 0.3 0.3 0.3

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017.

E: Estimate.

N/A: Not available.

Note: In the health and wellness category, the data for 2017 was not yet available at the time of writing this report.

Market concentration of baby food in Mexico, by company - Retail sales value % breakdown - Milk formula
Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017E
Nestlé SA 52.6 52.9 52.6 51.9 51.4
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc (RB) N/A N/A N/A N/A 17
Abbott Laboratories Inc. 8.7 8.7 8.6 8.6 8.6
Aspen Pharmacare (Pty) Ltd. 7.9 7.5 7.2 7.1 7.2
United Pharmaceuticals SA 3.4 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.6
Groupe Danone 3 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6
BristolN/AMyers Squibb Co. N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. 15.3 15.3 16.1 16.8 N/A
Pfizer Inc. N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Wyeth N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Others 9.1 8.9 8.6 8.5 8.6

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017.

E: Estimate.

N/A: Not available.

Note: In the health and wellness category, the data for 2017 was not yet available at the time of writing this report.

Market concentration of baby food in Mexico, by company - Retail sales value % breakdown - Prepared baby food
Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017E
Nestlé SA 93 91.7 91.1 91.6 90.5
Kraft Heinz Co. N/A N/A 7 7.5 8.6
Healthy Times Inc. 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.4
Campbell Soup Co. 1.1 1.4 1 N/A N/A
Heinz Co, HJ 5.1 6.1 N/A N/A N/A
Plum Organics Inc. N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Others 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.5

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017.

E: Estimate.

N/A: Not available.

Note: In the health and wellness category, the data for 2017 was not yet available at the time of writing this report.

Market concentration of baby food in Mexico, by company - Retail sales value % breakdown - Other baby food
Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017E
Nestlé SA 92.1 86.6 83.9 93 94.7
Campbell Soup Co. N/A 10.6 13.7 4.3 N/A
Plum Organics Inc. 5 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Others 2.9 2.7 2.4 2.7 5.3

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017.

E: Estimate.

N/A: Not available.

Note: In the health and wellness category, the data for 2017 was not yet available at the time of writing this report.

Market concentration of baby food in Mexico, by company - Retail sales value % breakdown - Health and wellness baby food
Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017E
Nestlé SA 56.9 57.0 56.6 56.2 N/A
Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. 13.9 13.9 14.6 15.3 N/A
Abbott Laboratories Inc. 7.8 7.9 7.9 7.8 N/A
Aspen Pharmacare (Pty) Ltd. 7.1 6.8 6.6 6.4 N/A
United Pharmaceuticals SA 3.1 3.1 3.2 3.2 N/A
Groupe Danone 2.8 3.0 3.1 3.2 N/A
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Campbell Soup Co 0.2 0.2 0.1 N/A N/A
Pfizer Inc. N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc (RB) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Wyeth N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Others 8.3 8.1 7.9 7.8 N/A

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017.

E: Estimate.

N/A: Not available.

Note: In the health and wellness category, the data for 2017 was not yet available at the time of writing this report.

Between 2013 and 2017, the top three leading brands in Mexico were also from Nestlé.

Market concentration of baby food in Mexico, by brand - Retail sales value % breakdown
Brand Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017E
Nan Nestlé SA 28.5 27.6 27.1 26.6 26.0
Nido Nestlé SA 15.7 18.0 18.8 19.1 18.9
Gerber Nestlé SA 10.9 10.8 10.5 10.5 10.9
Enfamil Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc (RB) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Similac Abbott Laboratories Inc 7.1 7.0 7.1 7.0 7.0
Enfagrow Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc (RB) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Nutricia Danone, Groupe 1.5 2.6 2.9 3.0 3.0
Novamil United Pharmaceuticals SA 2.3 2.3 2.4 2.4 2.5
Progress Aspen Pharmacare (Pty) Ltd N/A N/A N/A N/A 2.6
SMA Aspen Pharmacare (Pty) Ltd N/A 6.7 6.3 6.1 2.2
Lactum Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc (RB) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Promil Aspen Pharmacare (Pty) Ltd N/A N/A N/A N/A 1.2
Nestum Nestlé SA 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1
Heinz Kraft Heinz Co N/A N/A N/A 0.7 0.8
Cerelac Nestlé SA 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6
Novalac United Pharmaceuticals SA 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.6
Isomil Abbott Laboratories Inc 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Nursoy Aspen Pharmacare (Pty) Ltd N/A 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2
Enfagrow Mead Johnson Nutrition Co 6.3 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.6
Enfagrow Bristol-Myers Squibb Co N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Enfamil Mead Johnson Nutrition Co 7.3 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5
Enfamil Bristol-Myers Squibb Co N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Heinz Heinz Co, HJ 0.3 0.5 0.6 N/A N/A
Lactum Mead Johnson Nutrition Co N/A N/A N/A 0.8 1.5
Nursoy Pfizer Inc N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Nursoy Wyeth N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Nursoy Nestlé SA 0.2 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Plum Organics Campbell Soup Co N/A 0.2 0.2 0.1 N/A
SMA Nestlé SA 8.5 N/A N/A N/A N/A
SMA Wyeth N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
SMA Pfizer Inc N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Others Others 8.6 8.0 7.8 7.6 7.5

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017.

E: Estimate.

Nestlé Mexico’s strategy

The multinational Nestlé began its operations in Mexico in 1930 and enjoys today nationwide coverage through its subsidiary, with more than 40 distribution centres located throughout the country. In 2016, Nestlé opened its biggest manufacturing facility in the State of Jalisco, which will produce baby milk formula for domestic and international markets (Euromonitor International, 2016).

As the leading player in baby food, Nestlé México follows a strategy based on strong umbrella brands. The company also significantly invests into product innovation, for example, by pioneering chilled baby food in Mexico, and by building brand awareness, including the promotion of its products to the medical profession. According to Euromonitor International (2016), the acquisition of Pfizer Nutrition in 2012 was also part of a plan, at the global level, to strengthen Nestlé’s milk formula portfolio.

It is worth noting that since April 2017 Nestlé claims to launch products in Mexico based on the analysis of what Mexican mothers actively are searching for on Google (Mintel, 2017).

Distribution channels

Modern grocery retail outlets are the main distribution channel for baby food, accounting for a value share of 65% in 2017. Health and beauty specialist retailers still held an important value share of 32%, thanks to the relevance of milk formula in pharmacies and parapharmacies (Euromonitor International, 2017). In addition to that, the presence of baby stores and organic stores is also key in the market.

Internet retailing for baby food has slowly started getting more popular in 2014, and baby food is in the top ten of the packaged food sold online in Mexico (see the Global Analysis report “E-commerce in Mexico”). Even though figures are still very low, these could increase substantially over the coming years.

Mexican retail baby food sales, by distribution channel (%)
Outlet 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017E
Store-based 100.0 99.9 99.9 99.9 99.9
Grocery retailers 65.5 65.4 65.5 65.5 65.1
Convenience stores 4.1 4.1 4.1 4.1 4.2
Discounters 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.7
Forecourt retailers 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
Hypermarkets 14.7 14.6 14.4 14.6 14.7
Supermarkets 12.4 12.7 13.0 13.0 12.6
Independent small grocers 17.4 17.1 17.0 16.7 16.4
Other grocery retailers 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6
Non-grocery specialists 31.0 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.6
Health and beauty specialist retailers 31.0 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.6
Mixed retailers 3.5 3.6 3.3 3.2 3.3
Non-store 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Internet retailing 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017.

E: Estimate.

Product launch analysis

Between January 2016 and December 2017, a total of 408 baby food products were launched in Latin America, and over one-third (160) of these launches occurred in Mexico. Out of the 160 products launched in Mexico, 74 were either new products or range extensions, 34 products had an import status, and the vast majority of products were branded, with only twelve products from a private label. The most popular packaging type was the jar, and 72% of products had a safety button as a cap, which uses a vacuum when sealed and pops up when the pack is opened.

Unsurprisingly, the company that led the retail sales in the country, Nestlé, was also responsible for the largest proportion of product launches (112) during the two-year review period. By contrast, all other players, such as Wal Mart and Tiendas Soriana, launched fewer than 10 products.

Number of baby food products launched in Mexico, by launch type 2016-2017
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
Launch type Number of products
New packaging 60
New variety/range extension 50
New product 24
Relaunch 23
New formulation 3

Source: Mintel, 2017.

Note: Data for 2017 available until mid-December only.

Baby Food product launches in 2016-2017, by package type
Type of package Number
Jar 52
Flexible stand-up pouch 29
Can 20
Flexible 18
Bottle 14
Carton 14
Tub 6
Composite 5
Flexible sachet 2
Total products launches 160

Source: Mintel, 2017.

Note: Data for 2017 available until mid-December only.

The top products subcategories were baby fruit products, desserts and yogurts; baby juices and drinks; and growing up milk. The popularity of claims such as no additives/preservatives and vitamin/mineral fortified is in line with the preference of Mexican consumers for products that are perceived as being good for the health of the little ones. Other top claims such as ease of use and microwaveable also respond to the inclination of consumers for products that offer a high level of convenience. Kosher food is another top growing claim in Mexico, and this is also reflected in baby food product claims.

In terms of flavor, over 80% of the baby food products launched in 2016-2017 had a fruity flavour, such as apple, pear, banana and mango (135 products). Plain, vanilla and vegetable flavours were also frequently associated with products launched during the review period.

Number of baby food product launches in Mexico, by sub-category 2016-2017
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
Sub-category Number of launches
Baby fruit products, desserts & yogurts 56
Baby juices & drinks 32
Growing up milk (1-4 years) 18
Baby savoury meals & dishes 15
Baby cereals 15
Baby snacks 7
Baby biscuits & rusks 7
Baby formula (0-6 months) 4
Baby formula (6-12 months) 4
Growing up milk (4+ years) 1

Source: Mintel, 2017.

Note: Data for 2017 available until mid-December only.

Number of baby food products launched in Mexico, by claim 2016-2017
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
Claim Number of products
Social media 17
Other (functional) 20
Organic 24
Kosher 31
Microwaveable 49
Low/no/reduced Sugar 51
Ease of use 85
Vitamin/mineral fortified 98
No additives/preservatives 115

Source: Mintel, 2017.

Note: Data for 2017 available until mid-December only.

Examples of products launched in 2017 in Mexico

Apple and Strawberry Flavored Cereal

Repackaged with an updated design, this product is enriched with six vitamins and minerals, and is made with wholegrain cereals. It is claimed to be easy to swallow and supports learning how to grab food. The stage four snack is suitable for babies over 12 months of age.

Company Nestlé
Importer Nestlé
Brand Gerber Junior Puffs
Sub-Category Baby Snacks
Country Mexico
Country of Manufacture USA
Date Published Nov 2017
Price US$ 2.20
Apple Blueberry Baby Food

This product is said to be made from fresh fruits harvested in a farm whenever possible. It is USDA organic certified, suitable for babies over six months of age.

Company Tiendas Soriana
Importer Tiendas Soriana
Brand Yummy Organics
Sub-Category Baby Fruit Products, Desserts & Yogurts
Country Mexico
Country of Manufacture USA
Date Published Oct 2017
Price US$ 0.84
Organic Vanilla Biscuits for Teethers

This is a kosher and USDA organic certified product fortified with calcium for growing bones. It is developed to promote comfortable growth of baby's teeth and provides exercise for gums and jaws with hard surface whilst satisfying the natural urge to bite. The product is said to be easy to hold and retails in a recyclable pack containing 12 units.

Company Healthy Times
Importer Distribuidora Promesa
Brand Healthy Times
Sub-Category Baby Biscuits & Rusks
Country Mexico
Country of Manufacture USA
Date Published Oct 2017
Price US$ 5.09
Sodium Free Purified Water for Babies

This ready to use product has a balanced content of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, and is delicate on baby's tummy. The kosher certified water can be used to prepare baby formulas, does not require boiling and is free from colourings, flavourings and preservatives. It retails in a 4L pack featuring the Ecoce logo.

Company Nestlé
Sub-Category Baby Juices & Drinks
Country Mexico
Country of Manufacture Mexico
Import Status Not imported
Date Published Apr 2017
Price US$ 1.26

Key considerations

Source for this section: Trade Commissioners based in Mexico.

Regulatory requirements

According to Mexican regulations, any product intended for retail sale must comply with the food labelling specifications established under the Mexican Official Standard: NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010.

According to Mexican import regulations, baby food containing more than 10% of a dry weight basis of milk solids classified under HS Code: 1901.10.01, requires a sanitary import permit from Mexico’s Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS). The process for obtaining this sanitary import permit must be carried out by the Mexican importer. This process usually takes a few days, so it is important to complete the process before sending shipments to Mexico.

In the case of baby food with less than 10% of a dry weight basis of milk solids or other baby food, classified under HS Code: 1901.10.99, Mexican regulations state that no sanitary import permit from COFEPRIS is required, and only compliance of Mexican Official Standard: NOM-051 is required, if the product is intended for retail sale. NAFTA’s tariff schedule also indicates that Canadian baby food has duty free access to Mexico under the agreement.

Conclusion

Despite declining birth patterns, baby food is a growing market in Mexico, with mothers increasingly adopting busier lifestyles. Mexicans are especially concerned about feeding their babies with products that enhance their development throughout the early stages of life: 95% of the total baby food retail sales in the health and wellness category, most of which are foods that have been fortified with functional ingredients such as minerals and vitamins.

When choosing baby food products, Mexican consumers value both nutrition and convenience, with are two major purchasing trends when it comes to agri-food products in Mexico. With most of the baby food sector in Mexico currently dominated by foreign brands, there may be an opportunity for Canadian companies to enter the market through niche products. . However, the market is very competitive, so Canadian companies will need to promote their brands very effectively if they want to succeed.

For more information

International Trade Commissioners can provide Canadian industry with on-the-ground expertise regarding market potential, current conditions and local business contacts, and are an excellent point of contact for export advice.

For additional intelligence on this and other markets, the complete library of Global Analysis reports can be found on the International agri-food market intelligence page, arranged by region.

For additional information on ANTAD-Alimentaria 2018, please contact:

Diana de la Huerta
Trade Commissioner Assistant
Embassy of Canada in Mexico
diana.delahuerta@international.gc.ca

Resources

Sector Trend Analysis - Baby food in Mexico
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: Josique Lorenzo, Market Analyst

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2018).

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