Colombia grew “above expectations” during the first quarter of 2023, reflecting a 3% growth in its GDP, according to data from the National Statistics Department (DANE, as per the Spanish acronym). In contrast, entities such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected a 1% growth in Colombia for 2023.
Colombia’s economic growth, according to DANE figures, has been driven by increases in financial activities. However, the sales of products have also made their contribution. As of April 2023, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (MINCIT) revealed a 4.5% growth in the last 12 months—and 15.3% over 2019—in retail sales in Colombia. Also, a NielsenIQ report points to a 20.8% year-on-year increase in retail sales during the first quarter of 2023 in supermarkets, department stores and online stores.
Here are some of the products that could be boosting the country’s economy:
The 2023 Latin America Forecast
Five massive trends that will shape Latin America not only for in 2023—but also throughout the rest of the decade into 2030
Colombia: 5 products that increased their sales in 2023, according to MINCIT
#1 Non-alcoholic beverages
Sales of non-alcoholic beverages in Colombia recorded a 12.2% growth in sales between January and April 2023 compared to the same period of the previous year.
In April alone, non-alcoholic beverages recorded a 14.6% year-on-year growth in sales.
#2 Alcoholic beverages and tobacco
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, same as non-alcoholic beverages, have seen a surprising growth in Colombia of 11.4% between January and April 2023 over the previous year.
In April alone, growth in alcoholic beverages and tobacco sales was 6.1% YOY.
Books continue to be a popular product in Colombia, with a 7.7% growth in sales in January-April 2023 over the previous year.
Colombia’s publishing sector recovered in 2022 and recorded sales of COP 900 billion (about US$ 211 million), an increase of 32.9 % over 2021, according to the Colombian Chamber of Books.
#4 Personal care, cosmetics and perfumes
Sales of cosmetics and personal care products increased by 6.2% in Colombia during January-April 2023, compared to the same time period in 2022. In April alone, growth was 5.1% YOY.
In 2022, the personal care and beauty sector closed with a 9.5% increase in sales compared to 2021, reaching COP 30.4 trillion (US$ 7.1 billion). CeraVe, L’Oréal and Natura are the most popular cosmetics brands in Colombia.
#5 Household items
MINCIT reports that sales of household goods in Colombia increased by 6.1% in January-April 2023 over the previous year. In April alone, sales increased by 7.5% YOY.
On the other hand, the National Association of Industrialists of Colombia projects that sales of cleaning products in Colombia will increase by 12.1% in 2023, after a turnover of COP 12.34 trillion in 2022.
Other products with increase in sales in Colombia 2023-24
#6 Catalog Sales
The Colombian Association of Direct Sales (ACOVEDI), which has 28 affiliates (in companies such as Yanbal, Novaventa, Natura or Leonisa), reported revenues for more COP$6 trillion in 2022—approximately US$1.4 billion—which indicates growth of 8% in direct sales in Colombia compared to the sales in 2021. According to ACOVEDI, Colombia is already part of the top 15 countries in the world in terms of catalog sales.
The best-selling products that are sold by catalog in Colombia are cosmetics and personal care products, with a market share of 38.8%. Clothing and accessories are in second place, with a 34.4% market share. In third and fourth place are food and beverage products (7.5%) and household items (6.15%).
#7 Apple products
Apple dethroned HP in sales of technology products in Colombia by recording revenues of COP 2.09 trillion in 2022. This represented a 49.3% growth for Apple compared to 2021. Apple now has the highest turnover in the Colombian technology sector, followed by Nexsy and HP.
Undoubtedly, the iPhone is the most prominent Apple product in Colombia. According to StatCounter, iPhone’s share in the Colombian cell phone and smartphone market increased from 12.2% in September 2022 to 16% in September 2023.
#8 Solar Cells
Colombia’s solar energy market (which includes photovoltaic electricity and concentrated solar power) will grow with a CAGR of more than 54% between 2023 and 2028, according to Mordor Intelligence. The research firm also indicates that Colombia could reach an installed capacity of 8,349 MW in 2028.
#9 Drugs and pharmacy products
According to the National Association of Colombian Businessmen (ANDI), pharmaceutical production in Colombia has recorded sales of COP 22.9 trillion so far in 2023 and is projected to reach COP 25.3 trillion in 2024, which would mean an increase in sales of 10.4%.
It should be noted that 66% of drug sales in Colombia are institutional and 34% are commercial.
The market share in Colombia is distributed among patented drugs (41%), generic drugs (42%) and over-the-counter drugs (17%).
#10 Home Appliances
Mordor Intelligence estimates that sales of household appliances in Colombia will expand with a CAGR of nearly 2.6% between 2023 and 2028. Mordor’s report includes the sale of large household appliances, such as refrigerators, washing machines and freezers; and small appliances, such as blenders and toasters.
According to Mordor Intelligence, the brands that dominate the domestic appliance market in Colombia are BSH, Whirlpool, Electrolux, LG and Samsung.
It should be clarified that the sale of new cars and new motorcycles in Colombia has declined by 18.3% and 16.4% in 2023, respectively, according to the National Association of Sustainable Mobility (ANDEMOS).
However, motorcycle sales relative to cars have grown significantly. According to ANDEMOS, an average of 3.8 motorcycles are sold for every car in Colombia, which represents an increase of 24.2% in 2023 and an estimated 1.08 motorcycles sold per minute.
The most purchased motorcycle brands in Colombia are Yamaha, Bajaj, AKT, Suzuki and Honda.
Contact us if you’re interested in further market research about the consumer market in Colombia or other countries. Over the past 30 years we’ve conducted more than 600 consumer market research studies for Latin America. These include market landscape studies, opportunity benchmarking, competitive intelligence and more.
You may also want to explore our other stories on top-selling products in Latin America overall in 2023-24, as well as 2023’s best-selling products in markets such as Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, and Brazil.