The coronavirus pandemic, which forced consumers to stay home, opened business opportunities for food technology or Food Tech companies such as Heartbest Foods, Come Bien, Don´t Worry, Nowports, Yalo, Jüsto and 99 Minutos, which they identified changes in consumer habits, which aroused the interest of firms such as Bimbo, Pepsico, ABinBev, Femsa and Coca-Cola that capitalized some of these companies.
Rising orders and online shopping, rising demand for delivery services, and heightened health concerns have become the gasoline that fueled Food Tech in Mexico in the past two years.
“The pandemic undoubtedly boosted the creativity of female and male entrepreneurs, since times of crisis are also times of opportunity,” said Vincent Speranza, general director of Endeavor in Mexico and Regional Advisor for LATAM.
He added that between last year and this year there was great growth in the Food Tech sector, as consumers began to take better care of their health, with organic, natural and healthy solutions.
The pandemic gave special importance to Food Tech of organic and healthy products, because according to a survey conducted by Atlantia Search, a consumer research firm, 74 percent of customers changed their eating habits due to Covid-19 .
“On the other hand, by not leaving home, the logistics and delivery companies gave us scope for products and services, keeping us safe. Society’s concern for ethical and environmentally responsible solutions that promote fair and responsible trade was also reinforced. The industry grew not only in sales, but also in segments to solve situations of the new normal ”, explained the expert in business acceleration.
According to the Mexican Association for Online Sales (AMVO), between 2019 and 2020 electronic commerce grew 81 percent annually and reached a market value of 316 billion pesos in the country, with a 9 percent share in the national retail channel, which in turn increased the demand for delivery, transportation and logistics services.
“E-commerce is already a big business in Latin America, but to take advantage of its full potential, it is necessary to have next-generation delivery platforms that meet the demands of companies in the sector and their customers,” Alexis explained in a report. Patjane, director and founder of 99minutos, a last-mile delivery service for electronic businesses in Latin America.
In Mexico, there are an estimated 68 FoodTech, startups and scaleups and 49 percent of these companies have accessed financing for around 271 million dollars in the last decade, which allowed 21 percent of them to have expanded their presence in abroad, according to the report “Whitepaper The FoodTech Landscape in Latin America”, prepared by the business accelerator Endeavor with support from PepsiCo.
In this regard, Enrico Robles del Río, Director of Intelligence at Endeavor explained that technology has penetrated the food sector in order to solve the great challenges that are experienced worldwide along the value chain of the industry, seeking to generate greater efficiencies, as well as greater awareness of the environment and changes in consumption habits.
“The Latin American region has the potential to become a prominent FoodTech hub, with more than 300 start-ups and scale-ups that are reinventing the way we consume food, its packaging, transportation, logistics, the way we market it. and distribute them, generating disruption in each link ”, added Robles del Río.
For his part, Roberto Martínez, president of PepsiCo Alimentos México, recognized that innovation has become critical to create more sustainable value chains and technology has become the key to that transformation to be more competitive and face multiple challenges that we have as a society.
“The purpose of disseminating this study, which is focused on Mexico, is to put elements in the hands of the business community and decision-makers to accompany and strengthen the ecosystem that promotes the generation of Food Techs, employment and economic growth. ”Martínez explained.
He added that, with the acceleration of digital transformation driven by the pandemic, the food industry has undergone an unprecedented evolution.
He explained that PepsiCo has been able to witness the positive impact that this technological integration has had in the food sector and throughout the value chain
“From the field, where we produce our ingredients through regenerative agriculture and the use of satellite images to save water, to the way our consumers purchase our delicious products, thanks to new forms of payment and electronic commerce”,