Light Barriers to Imports

OTA estimates total organic market consumer sales of Mexico at about $460 million USD per year.

  • The total market size for organic packaged food and beverages in Mexico in 2015 is US$234.5mn, making it the 16th largest market in the world by value.
  • Per capita spending on organic packaged food and beverages in Mexico is US$2.0, which ranks as the 31st largest spending per capita in the world.
  • The largest company by sales in organic packaged food and beverages is Unifoods SA de CV, which maintains 41.2% of total sales; it is followed by Grupo Industrial Cuadritos Biotek SA de CV and Grupo Herdez SAB de CV.
  • Organic packaged food and beverages in Mexico will see slow year-on-year growth of close to 3% in 2015. This is slower than the rest of the Latin America region, which will experience 4% year-on-year growth in 2015.
  • Mexico maintains a market size for organic packaged food and beverages of US$234.5mn in 2015, which is 0.7% of global category sales.
  • Within the Latin America region, Mexico is the leader in total value sales of organic packaged food and beverages.
  • Mexico will experience slow forecast growth of sales of organic packaged food and beverages, at 4.7% from 2015–2020.

QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS

Quick Facts

  • The total market size for organic packaged food and beverages in Mexico in 2015 is US$234.5mn, making it the 16th largest market in the world by value.
  • Organic packaged food and beverages carry premium prices in Mexico and are primarily purchased by affluent consumers.
  • The competitive landscape within organic food and beverages remains relatively consolidated, with few multinational companies willing to enter the low-growth category. 

Market Trends

Competitive Landscape

  • The competitive landscape within organic packaged food and beverages remains relatively consolidated, as few multinational companies are willing to enter the low-growth category. 
  • In 2014 Unifoods controlled 61.2% of the organic packaged food market, and Aires de Campo (now owned by Grupo Herdez) controlled 38% of the organic beverage market. Neither company has a single competitor with more than 10% market share.
  • Sales value of private-label organic foods grew by 61% in 2014 due to these products’ premium positioning coupled with lower prices than other organic brands. Although they are not price sensitive, even Mexico’s affluent consumers are willing to try cheaper private-label organic items.

Prospects and Growth Opportunity

  • Organic packaged food and beverages are expected to experience annual sales value growth through 2019 as consumer awareness grows and distribution improves.
  • Organic baby food and organic milk, at 12% and 11% CAGR, respectively, are expected to drive volume sales increases through 2019. 
  • Players that succeed in gaining shelf space for their organic items in modern grocery retailers, which represent more than 80% of category sales, will continue to win in the organic marketplace. 
  • Barring any major natural disasters or severe economic downturns, the solid niche base of consumers purchasing organic items will continue to bolster category growth.

General Health & Wellness Trends

General Economic & Demographic Landscape

Economy: 

  • Riding a wave of optimism due to federal reform, energy and telecom investment, US economic recovery, and robust private consumption, the Mexican economy is showing strong signs of a rebound. 
  • Strong domestic demand for goods and services has been the primary driver of economic growth since 2009. A repaired US economy will enable increased demand for Mexican exports, further contributing to economic growth in coming years.
  • High levels of corruption, drug crime, and violence show signs of persistence in the medium to long term, which may dampen strong growth trends.

Population demographics: 

  • Mexico’s population reached 127 million in 2015. It is the second most populous of all Latin American countries, surpassed only by Brazil.
  • Mexico’s population is aging at a brisk pace, with the median age increasing from 27.4 years in 2015 to 33.1 years in 2030.
  • The country’s population is predominantly urban, with 79.2% living in urban areas in 2015. This figure is set to increase by 21.9% through 2030, which will put Mexico’s urban population on par with that of other Latin American countries. 

Income & expenditure: 

  • Mexico has the second-largest consumer market in Latin America, behind Brazil. 
  • Income and expenditure levels have been below regional averages, reflecting decelerating growth within portions of the Mexican economy since 2013.
  • In 2015 disposable per capita income was US$6,578; it is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 3.2% through 2030.
  • Per capita consumer expenditure was US$6,116 in 2015, and is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 3.2% through 2030. 
  • The high level of income inequality generates marked contrasts in spending patterns between the rich and the poor. Those aged 45–49 with a gross annual income of US$150,000+ accounted for 29.1% of total income in 2014.

QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS

Organic packaged food & beverage data

Data type

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

CAGR
(12-15)

CAGR
(15-18)

                   

Health & wellness products consumption

15,802.3

16,728.9

18,285.1

19,244.8

19,845.4

20,477.8

21,164.6

6.8%

3.2%

Organic packaged food and beverages consumption

181.9

208.3

220.9

234.5

244.2

256.0

268.5

8.8%

4.6%

Organic packaged food consumption

174.1

199.7

211.9

224.6

233.5

244.4

255.9

8.9%

4.4%

Organic beverages consumption

7.8

8.7

9.0

9.9

10.7

11.7

12.7

8.3%

8.7%

Organic packaged food and beverages consumption as a % of total health & wellness products consumption

1.2%

1.2%

1.2%

1.2%

1.2%

1.3%

1.3%

-

-

Economic & demographic data

Data type

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

               

Total population

122.1

123.7

125.4

127.0

128.6

130.2

131.8

% Middle and upper class of total population

35.0%

34.9%

35.1%

35.0%

35.0%

35.1%

35.1%

% Population aged 65+

6.1%

6.2%

6.3%

6.5%

6.6%

6.9%

7.1%

% Population aged 0-14

29.0%

28.5%

28.1%

27.6%

27.2%

26.8%

26.3%

% Population with higher education degrees

14.9%

15.2%

15.4%

15.6%

15.9%

16.1%

16.3%

Average number of children per household

1.4

1.3

1.3

1.3

1.3

1.2

1.2

GDP per capita

8,066.4

8,206.7

8,669.6

9,006.9

9,126.9

9,289.6

9,470.5

Consumer expenditure per capita (US$)

5,345.5

5,545.2

5,811.8

6,116.3

6,239.8

6,359.2

6,493.2

Consumer expenditure per capita on food and non-alcoholic beverages (US$)

1,231.9

1,295.3

1,352.0

1,414.4

1,442.8

1,466.1

1,493.1

Retailer & urban area data

Data category

Rank

Urban Area/retailer

Population
(mns)

       

Top urban areas by population (2015)

1

Mexico Urban Area

21.3

Top urban areas by population (2015)

2

Guadalajara

4.9

Top urban areas by population (2015)

3

Monterrey

4.5

Top urban areas by population (2015)

4

Puebla

2.9

Top urban areas by population (2015)

5

Tijuana

2.0

Top grocery retailers by sales (2015)

1

Bodega Aurrera

-

Top grocery retailers by sales (2015)

2

Walmart Supercenter

-

Top grocery retailers by sales (2015)

3

OXXO

-

Top grocery retailers by sales (2015)

4

Soriana

-

Top grocery retailers by sales (2015)

5

Chedraui

-

USDA GATS data

Rank

2015

2014

2013

2012

1

Apples

Apples

Apples

Apples

2

Grapes

Grapes

Grapes

Grapes

3

Pears

Pears

Pears

Pears

4

Coffee Roast

Coffee Roast

Coffee Roast

Coffee Roast

5

Onions

Onions

Onions

Onions

Policy Information

Government Agency(s)/Competent Authority

Authorized Government Agency(s): 

Ministry of Agriculture, Ranching, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food Supply (SAGARPA)

Agency(s) Contact Information: 

National Health Service, Food Safety and Food Quality (SENASICA)
Guillermo Perez Valenzuela 127, Primer Piso
Col. Del Carmen, Del. Coyoacan
Mexico, DF 04100
Telephone: 52 (55) 5090-3000 or 52 (55) 5905-1000, Ext. 51511
Website

M.C. Aurora Josefina Lobato Garcia
Assistant Director of Control of Organic Agriculture and Aquaculture
Aurora.lobato@senasica.gob.mx

MSc. Erandi Valdovinos Romero
Department of Control of Organic Animal Products
Erandi.valdovinos@senasica.gob.mx

Organic Regulations and/or Standards

Name(s) of Regulation and/or Standard: 

English versions of these documents are available.

The Law of Organic Products
Download .pdf (in Spanish)
Download .doc (in Spanish)

Regulations to the Organic Products Act
Download .doc (in Spanish)

Guidelines for the Operation of Organic Agricultural Activities

Amendment for Imported Organic Products (in English)
 

Date of Implementation: 

Pending

Regulation and/or Standard Scope: 

The Guidelines contain detailed crop, livestock and processing standards and require written organic plans, as well as contain detailed record keeping and livestock feed standards.  In addition, specific standards are included for wild plants, wild animals, non-traditional capture (larvae, insects), and beekeeping.  While aquatic animals are mentioned in the definition of Animal Production, there are no standards that specifically address aquaculture.  Hydroponic production is not allowed.

The expressions organic, ecological, biological, and denominations with prefixes such as bio and eco used on labels are considered equivalent synonyms and terms in national or international trade.

Mexico’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) extended the date to comply with Mexico’s organic regulations for products certified as organic in countries in the process of achieving organic equivalency with Mexico, which includes the United States, to April 2017. The United States has been in talks with Mexico to make an equivalency agreement for organic products.  In an April 27, 2017 meeting with Mexican retailers, SENASICA outlined its regulatory plans, including removing the requirement that organic certifiers must have a physical office in Mexico, revising the regulations to allow products from third countries that are certified to the SENASICA standard to display the SAGARPA organic seal, and developing new inspection procedures to implement the requirement for SENASICA to verify the organic certificate and document of control. Until new regulation are published in the Diario Oficial (in no less than 2-3 months), there will be no change to the current procedures to import U.S. organic products. Representatives from the Federal Attorney's Office for the Consumer (PROFECO) confirmed that they only conduct enforcement based on the Spanish language version of the label.

Imported Products Requirements

Imported Products: 

Imported products may be marketed in national markets as organic and with equivalent terms if they comply with the Mexican Organic Regulations and certified by a certifier accredited by Mexico or from a country with organic regulations and control systems recognized as equivalent by Mexico. Imports must be accompanied by an organic inspection document, or its equivalent, granted by the competent authority or body.

The 'USDA Organic' label will still be valid, as long as U.S. exporters remain in compliance with the Government of Mexico program.

Imported seeds or vegetative material will be treated with methods or treatment including the use of hot water, copper sulfate pentahydrate, Trichoderma Spp, or Bacillus Subtilis.

 

Certification and Accreditation

Certification: 

All organic operations in Mexico must become certified to the Mexican standard by a certifying agent approved by the Mexican government.

For a list of certification agencies approved to operate in Mexico, download the list (Padrón de Organismos de Certificación Orgánica).

SAGARPA offers free certification through FIRCO (see below)

Accreditation: 

Ministry of Agriculture, Ranching, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food Supply (SAGARPA) -

Certification bodies must apply to the Secretary of Agriculture and must be accredited by an accreditation body in terms of the Federal Law on Metrology and Standardization and/or to ISO Guide 65 or an equivalent country. 

Additional Information

Reference Standards: 

CODEX, IFOAM Basic Standards, EU organic regulations.

Additional Information: 

OTHER Agencies:

FIRCO: The Shared Risk Trust FIRCO is a parastatal entity, created by presidential decree and operates as a sector in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), to promote agribusiness, rural development and acting as micro- technical staff in programs of agricultural and fisheries sector.

National Council for Organic Production (CNPO) (website; in Spanish): established by Law to be a consultative body of the SAGARPA, inclusive and representative of the interests of producers and stakeholders in the field of organic products.

USDA's GAIN Report Mexico Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards - Narrative (2016)

USDA's GAIN Report Mexico Officially Extends Deadline to Comply with Organic Regulation (2015)
USDA's GAIN Report Mexico Exporter Guide (2016)
USDA's GAIN Report Mexico Food Processing Ingredients (2016)
USDA's GAIN Report Food Service - Hotel Restaurant Institutional 2016 Annual Report 
USDA's GAIN Report Mexico Retail Foods Annual Report (2016)

Definitions

Review definitions of terminology included in this website.