Graciana Méndez
Graciana is a Senior Regional Consumer Insights Analyst for Latin America at Mintel. She is responsible for developing research plans, analyzing consumer and market data, writing research reports on how consumer trends are evolving in the region and presenting insights to clients.

Based in São Paulo, Temaki Station restaurant has created a Facebook Messenger chatbot in a bid to engage consumers in playful conversations. The chatbot can provide prices and receive complaints, comments or praise. The initiative is in line with Temaki Station’s humorous campaigns on social media, since the chatbot can even share a “nude” photo of a salmon temaki wrapped in nori.

Pay, Eat, Love


Challenging financial times are making Brazilian consumers reconsider their spending and one of the areas that has been most impacted is eating out. According to Mintel report Brazilian Lifestyles 2016: Adapting to the New Normal Brazil 2016, over a quarter of consumers say they are cooking more at home rather than eating out. A further three in five Brazilians say they would cut down on eating out if they needed to cut their overall spending.

Chatbots and direct messaging apps are allowing players within the foodservice industry to boost and streamline orders. These new communication channels are letting people not just place orders, but also pay and make reservations. US-based Starbucks has launched a virtual assistant which allows customers to order and pay via mobile just by speaking, while in the UK, PizzaExpress now allows people to make reservations via a Facebook Messenger chatbot.

Brazil is starting to adopt these new channels to create a closer bond with consumers, bringing immediacy into the equation by using a more conversational and approachable tone of voice. We may soon see brands make more use of these messaging apps, creating partnerships and allowing consumers to order, pay and get recommendations too—just as Diageo and’s whisky-recommending chatbot, Whisky Matcher, is doing.

Graciana Méndez is Mintel’s Trends Analyst for the Latin America region. She has worked as a trendspotter and content writer for over 10 years, in companies like The Futures Company and JWT Intelligence. Having lived in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil, Graciana has a multicultural approach to consumer insights, as well as consumer and social trends.