Packaging sector in Mexico

An improved economic performance in the region, compounded by an increasingly sophisticated consumer and a higher purchasing power, has shaped the direction of the packaging market in Mexico. The result is the emergence of higher quality packaging, offering convenience and visual appeal.

Market overview

75% of all finished products in Mexico require packaging; of these, 90% are in the food and drinks category. In addition to a growing middle class, improving conditions among poorer consumers have fuelled strong expansion in packaging volumes, creating a major opportunity for packaging firms

According to reports from the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), Mexico’s market turn around and the country has increased its imports of packaging equipment by at least 4% over the last year. Imports of packaging equipment amounted to US$478 million in 2010.

The latest statistics show that total Mexican packaging production reached 9.1 million tons of containers and material valued at US$10.1 billion. Of this, US$2.5 billion was imported.

The market produces 8.5 million tons of packaging products, segmented as follows:

  • The cardboard and paper packaging sector: 37.03%

  • The plastic packaging sector: 25.14%

  • The metal packaging sector: 20.62%

  • The glass-packaging sector: 16.77%

  • Wood packaging sector: 0.45%

The industry offers a wide range of opportunities where food processing, beverages, pharmaceutics and personal care are the main sectors.

Mexico is currently the 6th largest in soft beverage packaging and 2nd in beer packaging worldwide (accounting for much of the demand). The pharmaceutical market is also one of the major correlated industries, considered as the 9th largest one in the world and leader in Latin America.

Key opportunities

Mexico is one of the largest buyers of packaging equipment. In 2010 Mexico placed 8th among the world’s top markets for packaging equipment. There has been an average growth rate of 7% over the last three years in this sector.

There is huge opportunity for British suppliers in three main sectors:

  • Machinery and high grade equipment supply or manufacture;

  • Innovation in new materials;

  • Recycling technologies and processes;

Hardy construction with flexible formats and competitive sales policy could tip the scale for British equipments over their Spanish, American, Japanese, German and Italian counterparts.

Latest export opportunities in the Food and Drink sector

Latest export opportunities in Mexico

Getting into the market

Packaging machinery in Mexico is almost always sold through local distributors. UK companies looking to enter the market are prompted to seek agent options and choose the best suited one in terms of regional coverage, company infrastructure, technical capacity, and customer base, among others.

More about doing business in Mexico


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

  • Diana Ramos, British Embassy Mexico. Tel: +52 (81) 8356 5359 or email: [email protected]

  • Carlos Botello, British Embassy Mexico. Tel: +52 (81) 8356 5359 or email: [email protected]

Contact your local international trade team

UKTI Events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events in the Food and Drink sector

Major Events


Date: October 28-31, 2012

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Date: February 27- March 1, 2013

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Date: June 18-21 June, 2013

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Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Countries: Mexico
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