Culinary Visions Panel's latest study in the North American dining series explores Mexico’s consumer dining preferences. Over 1,000 Mexican consumers were surveyed about their attitudes and behaviors related to meal choices at home, in the workplace and at restaurants.

“Mexico’s consumers are increasingly looking for dining options [that] are both convenient and save them time,” says Sharon Olson, executive director of the Chicago-based food-focused insight and trend forecasting practice. “Besides caring about convenience, Mexican consumers also desire additional dining choices such as kid-friendly restaurants, quality products and restaurants that cater to dietary needs. They also have an increased appetite for global and specialty regional foods that they find difficult to make on their own.”

There are five insights from the study, titled “Global Dining Survey 2017:Mexico,” that are driven by Mexican consumers’ busy lifestyles.

  1. Family-centric dining culture. Mexican consumers’ attitude toward dining, both inside and outside the home, is considerably influenced by their emphasis on family-centric dining culture. In fact, 76% of Mexican consumers agree that sharing a meal at home with their family is important, while 69% say preparing a meal together is an important family ritual. Even when dining away from home, Mexican consumers are more interested in kid-friendly restaurants than those in the United States and Canada. And, 63% of Mexican consumers believe kid-friendly restaurants are important as opposed to 35% in the other countries.
  2. Food trust. Consumers in Mexico will shape their dining priorities around food trust. A majority of consumers trust the restaurants and supermarket delis they patronize to offer quality products, even more than their local fresh markets. That’s why 76% of the consumers surveyed believe it’s important they trust restaurants to purchase quality ingredients, while 73% of them believe it’s important they trust their local deli to purchase quality ingredients. These numbers are slightly higher than 68% of the consumers surveyed, who said they shop at local fresh markets because they know and trust the vendors.
  3. Dietary needs. Consumers in Mexico are more interested in restaurants that cater to their dietary needs than in the United States and Canada. And, 66% of the consumers surveyed believe having choices that meet their dietary needs is important, while 52% of Mexican consumers believe restaurants catering to dietary restrictions are important vs 39% in the other countries.
  4. Convenience. While consumers have different expectations for dining experiences at home, at work and in restaurants, the desire for convenience drives demand and influences dining choices. That’s why 58% of the consumers surveyed believe quick and easy drives their choices when eating at work, while 53% believe prepared food from the deli is convenient and generally a good value for the price. Also, 51% of them said they prefer shopping at a deli more than a market because it is more convenient. However, 41% of consumers in Mexico said they would probably wait in a long line rather than skipping a purchase as opposed to 15% in the United States and Canada.
  5. Global, regional foods. Lastly, Mexican dining choices are influenced by their interest in global and innovative regional foods, such as Oaxacan cuisine. Although 75% of Mexican consumers enjoy ordering Mexican food in restaurants, 69% of them also appreciate international foods when dining out, and 45% love ordering American food at a restaurant. Convenience is more important to consumers in Mexico, where 63% say they lack the time to prepare authentic international foods. While 65% of those surveyed agreed that Oaxacan cuisine is the most innovative cuisine in the country, 58% of them said they like to purchase authentic foods that are complicated to prepare from a market.