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The Partnership no. 10

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"Mexicans like to eat

"Mexicans like to eat salsa at any time of day" Mexican cuisine is rich and diverse thanks to the country’s great abundance of fresh produce. Fruit and vegetables are eaten throughout the day, in the form of snacks or meals. Vegetables are consumed mostly at lunchtime – cooked or raw and seasoned with chili pepper. “We add the peppers to the food while it’s cooking or use them in the form of a salsa to spice up our dishes,” explains Marketing Specialist Juan Labastida. Trends in Mexico Fresh cut The Mexican market is still fairly traditional, American market. Of greater influence, he year round and are the basic ingredients of As in many West-European markets you see cover in sixteen thousand hectares. The requirements are intensifying. You see this though slight changes are now slowly believes, is the arrival of foreign retailers the famous Mexican salsas. “Whereas other plenty of fresh cut food in Mexico, too. This number of crops grown in greenhouses has for example in the way in which fruit and beginning to take place in the consumers’ selling the products on the Mexican market. cultures use dressings to add some extra has actually always been the case, but increased tremendously the past ten years vegetables are nowadays being sold: often buying behaviour. In Mexico, too, double- flavour to their salads, Mexicans like to eat in a different way than in, say, the US. Office and is expected to grow even more the individually and not prepacked, so that the income families are becoming more and There’s no disputing the substantial increase salsa, at any time of day. There are many workers and school children are accustomed coming five to ten years. consumers themselves can choose and pay more common. Such households have less that can be observed in the sales of lettuce different recipes, but they all contain chili to buying cut fruit – melon and watermelon for the quality and quantity they want.” time to prepare traditional meals but more money to spend. Labastida: “So just like in in Mexico. Lettuce is one of the vegetables that the country produces for the North pepper, tomato and onion.” – and fresh vegetables – (slicer) cucumber – at stalls, and then of course seasoned with “Generally speaking, there are two types of Mexican growers: entirely professionalised Future many West-European countries we see ever American market. “The salad trend is Of the three most cultivated crops, chili plenty of chili pepper or salsa. “We’re not growers focusing on global export, and Mexico is broadening its horizons. For more processed, ready-to-eat products something we also see here in Mexico. It is peppers have the largest acreage. And 85% familiar with mini cucumbers, mini sweet growers concentrating on local, regional and example, exports of products such as appearing on our market. Convenience has incidentally greatly dependent on income: of the total national production of the peppers or cherry tomatoes. In Mexico, fruit national markets,” says Labastida. He goes mangoes, melons and Kabocha pumpkins to become all-important in today’s society, households with more money to spend are peppers remains in Mexico. Mexicans love and vegetables are sold cut. Nowadays on to explain that the former are often Asia are steadily increasing, as are exports though Mexicans do still prefer to buy fresh more likely to experiment with new and to add a hot touch to their food. Whereas supermarkets of course try to get their piece large parties exploiting the benefits of the of ready-made salsas. In 2015 exports of produce.” different products. Those products then the serrano type was most popular in the of the pie by offering these snacks in a more latest technological developments and agricultural produce for the first time come to form part of the family’s eating past we now observe a tremendous shift attractive, cleaner environment, but they just always prepared to innovate. In many cases exceeded the income generated by tourism Labastida has also noted increases in habits.” towards the milder jalapeño type. This is a don’t taste the same.” they represent several links in the chain by or the export of oil. They represent around purchases of sweet peppers, cocktail tomatoes and mini sweet peppers by Salsa consequence of the increased influence of the processing industry. Jalapeño peppers Local versus international also covering packaging, trade and marketing, besides the products’ actual 10% of the national gross product, and that’s good news for the 33 million households with higher incomes, though But the consumption of lettuce fades to are more suitable for the canning industry Mexican crops are almost all grown cultivation. But although these growers Mexicans, about 30% of the population, they still represent only a small part of the nothing when you compare it with that of and are also quite a bit larger than serrano outdoors. Nevertheless, cultivation under focus entirely on export, Labastida sees who are involved in agriculture. And there market. He does not think that the cause of the country’s most important products. peppers, making them more economic in cover is intensifying, in particular in shade some changes taking place: “Local retailers are still plenty of challenges for these these changes is that local consumers have Outranking all other vegetables by far is the industrial use. houses and plastic greenhouses. According are increasingly often asking these suppliers Mexicans, also in their own country, thanks become familiar with these products chili pepper. Next come tomatoes, followed to the Mexican association of greenhouse for produce too. Now that welfare is to changes in consumer behaviour. because Mexican farmers grow them for the by onions. These vegetables are available all growers, crops are now being grown under growing, quality and food-safety 10 | The Partnership The Partnership | 11

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