Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/07/2012 -- Our latest Latin American ratings for the food and drink sector uphold our assessment of the Central American markets (Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and El Salvador), which are mostly let down by their risk assessements and small market sizes. On the other hand, mass grocery retail networks have plenty of room for growth across most of the region, which should stimulate investment in the sector. Nevertheless, investors are expected to remain wary of heightened economic and political risks, as well as a lack of logistics infrastructure across the region and in invidual markets.
Headline Industry Data (regional averages)
- 2012 per capita food consumption (US$) = +5.2%; forecast to 2016 = +27.9%
- 2012 alcoholic drink sales (litres) = +5.9%; forecast to 2016 = +34.0%
- 2012 soft drink sales (litres) = +5.2% ; forecast to 2016 = +30.8%
- 2012 MGR sales (US$) = +6.2%; forecast to 2016 = +34.5%
Key Company Trends
Starbucks Opens First Store In Costa Rica: In May 2012, US coffee chain Starbucks opened its first outlet in Costa Rica. Starbucks stocks locally grown Bella Vista coffee, which is grown in Tres Rios. Starbucks is is the single largest buyer of Costa Rican coffee.
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US Franchises Moving Into Costa Rica: Following the opening of US-based restaurant chain Pollo Tropical in Costa Rica, other US operators are reportedly be eyeing the country. For example, US fried chicken franchise Popeyes has opened a restaurant in Costa Rica, at a cost of US$1.5mn. Costa Rica already has Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Church's Chicken outlets, with Guatemala's Pollo Campero and domestic operator Rostipollos also provide competition in the market. The competition in the fast food sector (McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's are already present) will increase further following the entry of US chain Smashburger, which is also targeting the growing number of middleclass consumers and high brand awareness.
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