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In this page: Consumer Profile | Marketing opportunities

 

Consumer Profile

Consumer Profile
The population of Mexico is relatively young even though it is ageing. The median age is 29.8 years in 2022, whereas it was 26.2 in 2010. The population is growing at a rate of 1% (Data Reportal). According to the latest World Bank figures, 25.5% of the population is under 15 years old, 66.7% are between 15 and 64 years old and 7.8% are over 65 years old. On average there are 3.7 people per household with 10% of households living alone, 52% are couples with or without children, and 25% are stepfamilies (INEGI, latest data available). There is a slight decrease in the size of the household over time. Women represent 51.1% of the total population, with 81.3% of the population living in urban areas in 2022 (Data Reportal). The majority of Mexicans live in the middle of the country between the states of Jalisco and Veracruz. The main cities are Mexico City, Iztapalapa, Ecatepec de Morelos, Guadalajara, Puebla, Juarez and Tijuana. The level of education in Mexico is much lower than the average for OECD countries. Only 42% of adults aged 25 to 64 have completed upper secondary education, the lowest rate amongst OECD countries. Education is slightly more accessible for men than for women, as 42% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 41% of women. Although, according to UNESCO statistics, tertiary enrollments in Mexico have more than doubled, going from 1.9 million to 4.4 million between 2000 and 2017. The Mexican government in 2012 made upper-secondary education compulsory for all children by 2020. Improving Mexico’s education system is critical for addressing pressing problems like high unemployment rates among Mexican youths, who are unemployed at twice the rate of the overall working age population. Some 67.5% of the active population are employees, 23.1% are self-employed, 4.2% are unpaid workers and 5.2% are employers.
Purchasing Power
The GDP per capita PPP is USD 20,036.46 (World Bank, 2021). People in Mexico earn USD 15 314 per year on average, much less than the OECD average of USD 43 241 and the lowest in the OECD. In Mexico, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD 16,269 a year, considerably lower than the OECD average of USD 30,490 a year.

In terms of employment, about 59% of people aged 15 to 64 in Mexico have a paid job, lower than the OECD employment average of 66%. In 2021, some 76% of men are in paid work, compared with 45% of women. More than a quarter of Mexico’s active population is engaged in the informal economy (28.3%), with women (29%) more likely than men (27.8%) to hold informal jobs (INEGI, 2022). After decreasing significantly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, consumption has rebounded, with a growth rate of 8% in April 2022 compared to April 2021 (INEGI). Income inequality is high, and the Gini index is 45.4 but is has been decreasing in recent years (World Bank, latest data available). The share of women in the labour force is among the lowest in OECD countries. In 2021, women were paid 6.7% less than men, based on median, full-time earnings— better than the OECD average of 11.7%.
Consumer Behaviour
Purchasing criteria are usually product quality, practicality (time saving) and price. Customer service is increasingly important. There are many retail outlets in Mexico (kiosks, outdoor markets and covered, places with shops, shopping centres and supermarkets.) Depending on the geographical area, some types of trade will be more present than others. There is a gaping urban-rural income and spending divide. There is also a north-south  divide, as northern states have been the main recipients of foreign direct investment and, in turn, wages tend to be significantly higher there than in the less-developed south.

Following the Covid-19 crisis, consumer confidence reached its lowest point in April 2020 and then gradually began to rise again, with the seasonally-adjusted consumer confidence indicator published by the Statistical Institute (INEGI) standing at 43.6 points in June 2022.

Mexico is a Latin American country with the most e-commerce with 85% of people buying at least one product or service on the internet in the previous year. Amazon is the biggest online retailer, ahead of Mercado Libre and Wal-Mart of Mexico. Mexican consumers, especially in the capital are more  open to international companies.
Mexican consumers are amongst the most brand loyal in the world. Many seek to establish a relationship with the brand or company.

Also, Mexicans are ultra-connected to social networks. According to INEGI, in 2021 the country had 88.56 million Internet users, reflecting a growth rate of 6.7 percent over 2020. It has been estimated that around 68 percent of the Mexican population was on Facebook in 2022 (Data Reportal). More than half of the people who provided personal data on a social or professional network are worried about  possible misuse.

Among consumer trends in Mexico, time-saving products and services are important. The demand for organic products is developing with a desire for a healthier diet. As a reminder, Mexico is considered the second most obese country in the world. Organic products continue to be expensive but the market is growing by 10% a year. The consumption of more natural and artisanal products is increasing. The second-hand market is largely developed in the car, fashion and furniture sectors, whether online or in-store. The collaborative economy is just beginning to grow. Alternative transport companies (Ecobici, Smartbike, Mibici etc.) are being created as in the housing and carpooling sector.
 

Household Consumption Expenditure

Sector Percentage
Food and non-alcoholic beverages 23.0%
Transport 18.0%
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels 17.0%
Various goods and services 10.0%
Furnishings, household equipment, everyday maintenance of the house 5.0%
Culture and Leisure 5.0%
Restaurants and Hotels 4.0%
Health 3.0%
Clothing and Shoes 3.0%
Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics 2.0%
Communication 2.0%
Education 1.0%

Source: OECD Stats, 2016.

Consumer Recourse to Credit
The most common payment method in Mexico is cash. However, credit and debit card usage is growing in large hotels, restaurants and shops. Household debt is relatively low in Mexico (16.12%) but rising. The Mexican population remains poorly informed about financial and banking products and this is a first obstacle to the development of consumer credit. In 2018, the total of household debt was 900 billion pesos and consumer loans increased by 1.3% between 2017 and 2018 thanks to  better knowledge of banking products. However, as Banxico has raised its key rates, the trend in consumer credit could slow down or decline.
Growing Sectors
Tobacco, beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), food, housing maintenance and repair, holidays, accommodation services, transport services, medicines, dishes and household utensils, household appliances, leisure and garden equipment, cleaning services education, recreation and cultural services.
Consumers Associations
PROFECO , Procurator General for Consumer Protection
Alconsumidor , Association of Civil Assistance for Consumers
 

Population in Figures

Total Population:
128,932,753
Urban Population:
80.7%
Rural Population:
19.3%
Density of Population:
66 Inhab./km²
Men (in %)
48.8%
Women (in %)
51.1%
Natural increase:
1.06%
Medium Age:
26.0
Ethnic Origins:
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography of Mexico, 47% of Mexicans have European origins and 37% are of mixed origin. On the other hand, 17% of the total population considers themselves indigenous, while 1.74% identify as Afro-Mexican or Afro-descendant.
 

Population of main metropolitan areas

City Population
Mexico City 8,843,700
Tijuana 1,810,700
Ecatepec de Morelos 1,643,700
León 1,579,800
Puebla 1,542,300
Juárez 1,501,600
Guadalajara 1,385,700
Zapopan 1,257,600
Monterrey 1,143,000
Nezahualcóyotl 1,072,700

Source: Citypopulation.de, Latest available data - Latest available data.

 

Age of the Population

Life Expectancy in Years
Men:
72.2
Women:
77.9

Source: World Bank, 2009 - Latest available data.

 
Distribution of the Population By Age Bracket in %
Under 5:
9.1%
6 to 14:
18.9%
16 to 24:
17.9%
25 to 69:
49.8%
Over 70:
4.3%
Over 80:
1.4%

Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, 2010 Prospects - Latest available data.

 

Household Composition

Average Age of the Head of the Household 39.5 Years
Total Number of Households (in million) 28.2
Average Size of the Households 4.2 Persons
Percent of Households of 1 Person 8.8%
Percent of Households of 2 Persons 15.6%
Percent of Households of 3 or 4 Persons 42.2%
Percent of Households of 5 Persons and More 33.4%

Source: UN data, 2011 - Latest available data.

 

Consumption Expenditure

Purchasing Power Parity 202020212022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)
Purchasing Power Parity (Local Currency Unit per USD) 9.589.869.889.9910.15

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, Latest Available Data

Definition: Purchasing Power Parity is the Number of Units of a Country's Currency Required to Buy the Same Amounts of Goods and Services in the Domestic Market as USD Would Buy in the United States.

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
Household Final Consumption Expenditure 201820192020
Household Final Consumption Expenditure
(Million USD, Constant Price 2000)
840,678845,778757,832
Household Final Consumption Expenditure
(Annual Growth, %)
2.50.6-10.4
Household Final Consumption Expenditure per Capita
(USD, Constant Price 2000)
6,6626,6305,878

Source: World Bank, Latest Available Data

 
Consumption Expenditure By Product Category as % of Total Expenditure 2016
Food and non-alcoholic beverages 23.0%
Transport 18.0%
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels 17.0%
Miscellaneous goods and services 10.0%
Furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house 5.0%
Recreation and culture 5.0%
Restaurants and hotels 4.0%
Health 3.0%
Clothing and footwear 3.0%
Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics 2.0%
Communication 2.0%
Education 1.0%

Source: OECD Stats, Latest available data

 

Household Equipment

Main Consumer Durables as % of Households Owning Them 2008
Television 93.2%
Fixed telephone 51.1%
Cellular telephone 61.0%
Computer without Internet connection 25.7%
Computer with Internet connection 13.5%
Radio 87.3%
Video cassette recorder 38.6%

Source: INEGI - Information Society, 2001-2008, Latest available data

 
Information Technology and Communication Equipment, per 100 Inhabitants 2012
Telephone Subscribers 82.4
Main Telephone Lines 17.4
Cellular mobile subscribers 82.4
Internet Users 38.4
PCs 14.4

Source: International Telecommunication Union, Latest available data

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Marketing opportunities

 

Media in Which to Advertise

Television
Televisa used to dominate Mexican TV, but competitors have appeared in recent years.
Television advertisement has a strong influence, mostly on children and housewives. However, production costs are very high. The enterprises that benefit most from this form of publicity are supermarkets, although TV shows become saturated with political campaigns ads and money during election time.
Digitally, Netflix's "Ingobernables" was the most watched digital TV show with 7.86 million viewers, highlighting growth potential and ad opportunities in digital platforms (Statista).


Main Televisions
Grupo Televisa SA De CV-Channels 2,5,9
TV Metropolitana- Channel 22
TV Azteca- Channel 7 & Channel 13
Grupo Imagen
Press
The press is the communication media that gives the most prestige to a publicity campaign because it reaches a great number of people. It is considered a credible, serious media. Mexico has over 100 different newspapers in circulation. Advertising through electronic media is increasingly used. That said, newspapers generate more revenue from circulation than ads at a 3 to 1 ratio (1,078 million in sales vs 371 million in ad revenue (PwC). Sensationalism sells in Mexican print media.
El Universal was the most read newspaper in 2016, followed by Reforma and El Financiero (Merca 2.0). These newspapers thrive given their physical and digital following. 74.6% of Mexicans are not subscribed to a newspaper, but almost 60% of readers consult more than two newspapers (Merca 2.0).


Main Newspapers
Reforma
Excelsior
El Universal
El Informador
Milenio
La Jornada
Mail
51 million Mexicans have access to the Internet, representing a 41% penetration rate in 2015 according to internetlivestats.com. Direct mail advertising is generally used only by bank and insurance institutions because of the deficiency in the postal service. A large number of fliers and advertising material is distributed daily on main avenues and shopping places to promote products and services.
Radio
In Mexico, radio is a potent and efficient communication tool (98% penetration) because it is listened to in public transportation, restaurants, homes and even in some offices at an accessible price. There are about 1,400 local and regional radio stations. As the third most popular media outlet, it is a very effective advertising method given 3 out of every 10 Mexicans listens to radio (El Economista). Online radio ads are perceived as creative and traditional radio ads as an annoyance by Mexican listeners (the latter are considered too long). This Merca 2.0 study revealed the most popular radio station by age segment.

Main Radios
Grupo Radio Fórmula
Grupo IMER (State radio)
MVS Radio
Grupo Radio Centro (5 FM and 10 AM stations)
Radio Broadcasting Association of Valle de Mexico
Web
In order to satisfy clients’ demands, direct marketing has evolved and includes internet promotional campaigns. The most important promotional tools chosen by companies are direct mail and telemarketing. Online campaigns have strengthened the public perception to favor brands that appear online as opposed to those that do not advertise online thanks to banner ads that flash on computer screens.
Publicity by e-mail is, in general, deleted and rejected immediately.


Market Leaders:
Interactive Advertising Bureau - Mexico
Konka
Telcel SMS Marketing
SMS Masivos
Main Advertising Agencies
021
J. Walter Thompson Worldwide
Grupo KP
Mexican Advertising Agencies Association
 

Main Principles of Advertising Regulations

Beverages/Alcohol
It is allowed after 10 p.m. and alternates with health, nutrition and sanitary educational information. However, the legislative power can change its regulations to follow European standards. Some issues have been presented to the Senate but have not yet been voted on.
Alcohol ads are regulated under the General Health Law, Title IV "Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Ads". Its stipulations include movie and TV ads for alcohol must have the same duration, digital or printed ads must have a social responsibility message; high alcohol beverages cannot finance sport events; and alcohol ads cannot suggest drinking leads to success, fame, euphoria or interpersonal relations, among others.
Cigarettes
Since 2003, tobacco advertisement has been suppressed from radio and television advertisement as well as electronic media.  It is mandatory to add comments about possible health hazards due to tobacco consumption such as 'Smoking kills and causes pulmonary cancer', 'Smoking during pregnancy can produce a stillbirth', etc.
Pharmaceuticals/Drugs
Over-the-counter medicines can be advertised on television and other communications media. However, advertisement of prescribed medicines is limited to professional health providers.
Other Rules
The Radio and Television Federal Law prohibits the advertisement of vice centres or places that could incite violence, as well as any other image or text that can harass modesty, moral or good behaviour.
Advertisement must follow a classified schedule depending on the type of public: children (any schedule); teenagers (after 9 p.m.), and adults (after 10 p.m.).
Use of Foreign Languages in Advertisement
Publicity must be expressed in Spanish, but there is no bias against adding expressions in other languages.
Organizations Regulating Advertising
Federal Prosecutor for the Consumer Office
Consumer Protection Federal Laws
Ministry of Communication and Transportation
Ministry of Economy

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Latest update: November 2022

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