BMI View: Central America will see rising disposable incomes continue to drive growth in food sales andincreasing formalisation in the mass grocery retail sector. Lower income households will continue to beprice conscious but will buy more produce as incomes increase, while tourism will be the main driver ofpremiumisation. The regional outperformers in terms of food and non-alcoholic drinks sales across theforecast period are Costa Rica and Guatemala. The only bright spot in terms of alcoholic drinks salesgrowth is Honduras, while its regional peers will see growth in this segment stagnate.
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Economic growth in Guatemala is forecast to decelerate in 2017 before accelerating modestly in 2018, asprivate consumption growth is supported by strong remittance inflows. Political risks have becomemarkedly more acute in recent months due to corruption investigations, which will weigh on investorsentiment.