Developing economies in Central America and South America are changing how and where consumers there are purchasing poultry.

Ernesto Baron, USA Poultry and Egg Export Council Latin America/Caribbean president, told council members that the number of supermarkets in Central America  has grown substantially in recent years, with about 40 percent of the population now shopping in supermarkets. The growth has been especially noticeable in El Salvador, Honduras and Panama.

"In 2013 alone, more than 100 new supermarkets are opening," Baron said.


As the economy improves in Central America, more people are using their dollars for protein. However, they are also buying more convenient foods like deli meats and boneless chicken products as more households have more than one person working away from home and spending less time in the kitchen.

The scenario is similar in South America. Increased demand for poultry products has helped poultry exports to South America double over the past four years, Baron said, with increased market access to Chile being one of the biggest drivers. Steady economic growth in Peru, Columbia and Suriname are also contributing factors.

Along with the growth of supermarket shopping, trends in the South American retail sector include increased government oversight of markets and supermarkets, an increase in diversity of processed meat products and the growth of convenience foods.