In Consumer and Retail

After the economic contraction caused by an unprecedented pandemic, Latin American income and employment levels are finally recovering, according to a World Bank report. However, there are still challenges to overcome, and the region is seeing modest growth: World Bank estimates also put economic growth in Latin America at a mere 2.4% in 2024 and 2025.

The possible underlying causes of this are the global economic downturn, the as yet high levels of informal economic activity, and the migration crisis, and it is affecting consumer decisions and making Latin Americans continue to moderate their spending. Downtrading has become a common practice in Latin America, characterized by an attempt to save costs and a decrease in the average ticket. Merchants are finding this difficult, and many have been forced to compete with lower prices.

With this in mind, here at Americas Market Intelligence (AMI) we have analyzed and compiled the most significant trends of 2023 among Latin American consumers, and the main players or industries affected.


The 2024 Latin America Forecast

AMI’s leadership team offers a 2024 economic, business and political outlook for Latin America, as well as a sector-by-sector analysis of 5 major trends in the region.

Preferences of Latin American Consumers - Cutting costs - Image of reference

#1: Latin American consumers are looking to cut costs

The new normal and the financial crises of the past year have led consumers to moderate their spending. The trend has reached global levels, even to the point of changing household practices: 55% of consumers report cutting down on food waste, according to data from Euromonitor.[1]

In Latin America, the price of brand products has increased by more than 20% between 2019 and 2021 (current prices),[2] a situation that is even more evident in economies such as Chile, Argentina, and Mexico. It has made supermarkets, for example, invest heavily in their own private brands in order to offer their customers low-cost alternatives to the products of traditional brands.

Latin America: Private Label Percentage Share Increase, 2016-2021
Preferences of Latin American Consumers - Enviromental protection - Reference Image

No. 2: Latin American consumers are concerned about the environment

We might refer to consumers who are concerned about the environment and are analytical about their buying choices as “eco consumers.” The most recent Who Cares, Who Does report by Kantar (2022)[3] says this segment accounts for 47% of consumers in Latin America. Of these, 14% are “eco actives”: consumers who “feel an intrinsic responsibility to be sustainable” in their consumer decisions.

At the same time, Mercado Libre reports that sustainable product purchases rose by 29% throughout Latin America in 2022.[4] In countries like Mexico, for example, data from AMVO[5] show that 58% online buyers would buy more if the products had eco-friendly packaging.

Latin America: Criteria for Choosing a Sustainable Product. Mercado Libre survey, 2022.

For marketing experts, these consumer attitudes can be turned into powerful advertising messages that highlight a brand’s philosophy on and commitment to sustainability. There is a name for this strategy: green marketing, a concept that has been leveraged by some of the major players in the region. Former Unilever CEO, Paul Polman, told Portafolio that in the 10 years he worked at the company they reported 300% returns on investment thanks to Unilever’s positioning as a sustainable brand.[6]

Latin American consumers make short-term travel plans (image of reference)

No. 3: Latin American consumers make short-term travel plans

Most Latin Americans plan their domestic and international travel from 0 to 60 days in advance. This time frame saw a 5% increase in travel planning in the last quarter, according to Expedia.[7]

Even for international travel, Latin American consumers plan their trips fairly close to the departure dates. Searches for international travel from 22 to 30 days in advance have had the highest regional growth in the quarter: 10% over the previous quarter. By contrast, in regions like APAC and NORAM, the highest growth occurred in the search for international trips from 61 to 90 days in advance (30% and 20% growth, respectively).

Worldwide, Latin Americans also have the highest proportion of consumers who plan their international travel in a time frame of between 0 and 21 days (see graph below). This may represent an opportunity for travel agencies and airlines to offer “quick getaways” to the Latin American consumer.

Search window for international travel in APAC, EMEA, LATAM and NORAM.

Beyond travel planning, a new study by Visa offers other insights that marketing experts might consider with respect to trends among Latin American travelers. Some of these will perhaps help with the positioning of destinations in campaigns:[8]

  • 28% of Latin American travelers choose their destination because it offers “new and exotic experiences”
  • 27% of Latin American tourists prioritize “the creation of memories as families or with friends”
  • 25% of Latin American travelers look for new and challenging adventures and activities

Other interesting points of the study:

  • Dominican and Mexican travelers prefer going to the U.S.A.
  • Argentine, Chilean, and Peruvian travelers prefer going to neighboring countries
  • 53% of Latin American travelers have a budget of US$4,000 for their trips each year
  • 80% of these expenses are paid in advance, and the rest is paid with credit cards
  • 49% of Latin American travelers use online travel agencies to pay for their trips; 40% use airline websites; 38% use hotel chains, and 28% use social media, a further example of the social commerce trend
Preferences of Latin American Consumers - Latin Americans prefer digital payments

No. 4: Latin Americans prefer digital payments

According to the World Bank, “In low and middle-income economies (excluding China), over 40% of adults who made merchant in-store or online payments using a card, phone, or the internet did so for the first time since the start of the pandemic.”[9] In Latin America specifically, 73% of the population now has some kind of account, and 40% of adult Latin American consumers make digital payments to merchants.[10] This situation has been influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the World Bank, 14% of Latin American consumers made a digital payment for the first time during the pandemic, and 15% paid a utility bill directly from their account for the first time.[11] On that last point, it represented double the average of developing countries.

Accordingly, at least 35% of banks in Latin America report having an area for innovation, and 43% are updating their digital channels.[12] Additionally, a rate of 112% growth in the fintech industry in Latin America was reported between 2018 and 2021, reaching 2,482 platforms.[13]

Fintech startups in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2017 to 2021.
Watching on demand tv show or film online

No. 5: Latin Americans are inclined toward free content in exchange for advertising

Online video has reached a peak of penetration among Latin American Internet users, with 9 out of 10 consuming this type of content on free platforms like YouTube and social networks. Social networks have even reached 99% penetration among internet users[14] with algorithms that stimulate video viewing. In addition, their developers have incorporated advertising into the feed or the infinite scroll.

If we compare the above figures to the consumption of paid video on demand (Netflix, HBO+, Disney+, etc.) we find that this service has lower penetration, equivalent to 70%, which has remained stable between 2020 and 2022.[15] According to Comscore, 35% of Latin Americans surveyed are considering having advertising in exchange for high-quality content, while 65% still prefer to pay for an ad-free service.[16]

In this way, Latin America is heading for a paradigm change. Netflix launched a plan with advertising content in November 2022 for Mexico and Brazil. Other providers, like Paramount+ or HBO Max, have launched similar proposals in the United States, which are supposedly coming to Latin America very soon, although in some cases there will be the disadvantage of a price increase in non-advertising plans.

The use of ad-based online content platforms (AVOD) increased by 33% a year in 11 Latin American countries, Spain, and Italy, in 2022.[17]


The 2024 Latin America Forecast

AMI’s leadership team offers a 2024 economic, business and political outlook for Latin America, as well as a sector-by-sector analysis of 5 major trends in the region.

Next steps

Americas Market Intelligence is the leading firm in terms of market intelligence for Latin America. Contact us if you are interested in a consumer study for your market of interest. We have over 600 studies focused on the analysis of consumers, as well as their preferences and interests. These studies have been put together to improve companies’ strategic planning in multiple sectors, including payments, e-commerce, cryptocurrencies, energy, shipping, and logistics.


[1] Euromonitor International. Las 10 tendencias globales de consumo en 2023.

[2] Euromonitor, 2022. How Inflation in Latin America is Impacting Consumers and Manufacturers of Home Care Products

[3] Kantar, 2022. Who Cares Who Does LatAm 2022

[4] Bloomberg Línea, 2022. Consumo de productos sustentables aumentó 29% en LatAm, según Mercado Libre

[5] AMVO, 2023

[6] Portafolio, 2022. “A las empresas les sale más barato ser sostenibles, según experto

[7] Expedia, 2023. Traveler Insights Report 2023 | Q1

[8] Tendencias Emergentes de Viaje,” Visa study, 2023

[9] World Bank, 2022. “COVID-19 Drives Global Surge in use of Digital Payments

[10] World Bank, 2022. “COVID-19 Drives Global Surge in use of Digital Payments”

[11] World Bank, 2022. “COVID-19 Drives Global Surge in use of Digital Payments”

[12] Infocorp, 2022. 3er Estudio Latinoamericano de Banca Digital

[13] BID, 2022. “Estudio: Industria fintech dobla su tamaño en América Latina y Caribe en tres años

[14] AMI analysis with data from IMS 2022

[15] AMI analysis with data from IMS 2022

[16] Comscore, 2022. “Gran oportunidad para anunciantes en Latinoamérica: el 41% de la población digital de la región son Connected TV Watchers

[17] IMS, 2022. Media Essentials 2022

Keep up to date with our Consumer and Retail insights

Recent Posts