The ‘next normal’: Latin American consumers

October 14, 2020
6 min read

The pandemic has altered people’s relationships with home, food, personal care and beauty. But what changes are here to stay in Latin America? Here, we spotlight brands that are providing products for the “next normal” Latin American consumer.

Hygiene and health

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the importance of hygiene-related behaviours to stay healthy, such as keeping our bodies and homes clean.

From astrology to science

Casa KM has shifted its focus from fragrance-oriented to science-based. In 2019, the brand teamed with a Brazilian astrologer to highlight the connection between scent, wellness and experiences. This year, the brand is using a science-based approach to promote its new range of general-purpose disinfectants which are said to kill viruses including COVID-19 and to eliminate germs and bacteria. The products have been tested in the US and approved by Anvisa.

Zoflora highlights fragrances while offering disinfecting benefits

During the pandemic, Zoflora was able to remain true to its core brand value, built on its fragrances, while addressing consumer concerns about the new coronavirus. In April 2020, Zoflora announced the introduction of new fragrances and launched a poll on its social media profiles to investigate consumers’ scent preferences.

A renewed focus on healthy eating

The pandemic, together with stay-at-home lifestyles, has exacerbated some health issues and has brought about a renewed focus on healthy eating.

COVID-19 has made Latin American consumers worry about certain parts of their diets

Brands can use fruits and vegetables to “healthify” food and drink, as Latin American consumers are watching their daily intake of these. This is also in line with a growing interest in plant-based foods. Fruits and vegetables lend a health halo to everyday foods, but in the future, as consumers become more knowledgeable of plant-based ingredients, brands will be challenged to name the specific benefits these ingredients provide.

Heart-healthy claims can appeal to those concerned about lifestyle diseases

La Finca Organic Instant Oats is said to be heart-healthy: “A diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol that includes 3g of soluble fiber per day reduces the risk or heart disease.” One serving provides 1.6g of soluble fiber (Puerto Rico).

Glycemic-control friendly
Glulac Free Banana Cake is made with green banana that is rich in inulin, an insoluble dietary fiber that helps in glycemic control. It is low in sodium and saturated fat, and free from dairy, gluten, trans fat and refined sugar (Brazil).

Sabrochenti Panettone has been made with purple corn flour, which is said to contain a high degree of anthocyanin, help prevent cardiovascular diseases, reduce blood pressure and support blood circulation (Peru).

COVID-19 may accelerate the plant-based trend in the longer term

COVID-19, like other zoonotic diseases, is thought to have ‘jumped’ from animals to humans, which could prompt consumers to avoid foods of animal origin. Some consumers may be interested in eating plant-based and cooking with plant-based ingredients but may need guidance.

Plant-based for beginners
Come más plantas is a great place to start the plant-based journey. The app offers vegetables harvest periods and nutritional facts to optimize nutrient ingestion. It is equipped with AI to help identify veggies through photos (Argentina).

Plant-based for intermediate
Vitalínea Grapefruit and Green Tea Flavored Jelly Dessert jelly is a great option for those looking to slightly expand their plant-based experiences. It features 8kcal per portion and has been made with fruit pulp and tea extract (Mexico).

Plant-based for the advanced
Asanté fishless ceviche in a lemon, tomatillo and coriander sauce, created by Mexican chefs, is out-there enough for highly experienced plant-based consumers. Asanté highlights the impact of plant-based foods on people and planet (Mexico).

Coping with emotional stress

Latin American consumer interest in healthier choices will rise. Yet, anxious consumers are also likely to look for taste and enjoyment as important attributes to cope with stress.

Indulgent foods helped consumers cope with stress and anxiety driven by the pandemic

Indulgent foods provide a temporary sense of emotional wellbeing to consumers, but as people hope to be less stressed out in the future, they look to curb their consumption.

Mom-approved indulgence
Launched for health-conscious, Millennial moms who seek nutrition and flavor. Nesquik Extra Cocoa features an Opti-Start formula that complements milk with vitamin D to contribute to bones’ growth, and iron and zinc to help cognitive functions (Mexico).

Keto-friendly indulgence
Sweetwell Cookies with Collagen are keto-friendly and a great source of fibre. Made in small batches, granting flavour and indulgence, they feature a low glycemic index and are free from trans fats, sodium and sugar (Costa Rica).

Fit Indulgence
Coconut and 72% Dark Chocolate Mousse is said to feature a lot of flavor. The ready-to-eat product contains isolated whey protein and is low carb and free from gluten, lactose and added sugar (Brazil).

Beauty brands are turning to gaming to let consumers socialize and de-stress

Diversity Island
Gillette Venus created avatars on Animal Crossing highlighting diverse skin and body realities such as acne, cellulite, scars, stretch marks, vitiligo and psoriasis, while allowing consumers to express themselves and promote inclusion (US).

Rappi Island
Rappi Games will offer 150 video games to players, and customers will be able to convert points into discounts on the app. A beta version that has already launched attracted over 266,000 players per week (Latin America).

The pandemic has brought financial struggles to the fore

Unemployment has become a hard reality that many people are facing

Chilean start-up NotCo has launched a recipe contest for its new plant-based hamburger exclusively for chefs who were laid off from their jobs due to the impacts of COVID-19. Each week, WhyNot will sell two different recipes. The chefs will be paid both for their recipes as well for the sales. Their name will also be promoted to help them find new job opportunities.

Budgeting behaviors are driving BPC brands to innovate with family packs

Beauty and personal care brands were challenged to come up with better pricing options to get consumer attention. Some brands explored family sizes, such as a 1 liter fortifying nourishing shampoo made with 87% organic Aloe Vera and tea tree to offer convenience and savings.

Graciana Méndez
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.

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