Thought I would do a little show and tell of the Chilean food culture here…not all but a chunk…mainly a look at the differences in the supermarket. Funny because in taking the photos I was actually surprised by them even more than before. I am in the U.S. currently and plan to take some comparative fotos, so look for a second post.
To me it appears that in Chile there is an abundance of competitors in the market for most products. There does not appear to be a main leader, although there are definitely preferred brands.
Bread is a huge deal in Chile, in fact Chile is the 2nd largest consumer of bread in the world! Spanish for those who can read it: Read more here.
I also notice a huge ice cream culture, every store has it up front, and then there are a ton of shops everywhere. Chileans and myself always seem to be consuming ice cream. It is more like Italian ice creams but creamier. According to this article in 2012 (Spanish), Chile leads in ice cream consumption in Latin America..Read More here.
Lacteos…Dairy is a huge industry! The yogurt aisle is impressive…but milk is powder…booo. I also think it is funny that my Chilean roommate buys tons of milk and yogurt and that this is considered a meal on many days…I know it is healthy but it just seems to be a lot! More info here (Español).
Interesting read (English)
Nestle, the French company is everywhere! They are a major player in Chile. I feel like they are over bearing.
Sugar in Chile is a huge problem, many products have a lot of sugar and it is incredible to see the Piscola trend that has Chileans mixing the national drink, Pisco (sugary in itself), with Coca Cola. Coca Cola in Chile is sold is the biggest bottles I´ve ever seen and it is beyond sugary. In fact 3/4 of Chileans are obese and the problem has finally been addressed in recent years (after I lived there in 2013) through laws requiring labels on packaging warning about their unhealthiness! Read more here. When I returned in 2018 I noticed the change and was very happy to see it, plus it made you quickly realize how unhealthy many products available in Chile were for you.
Photos were taken is another large super called Unimarc.
Palta…..Avocado – this is a Chilean must…everything has palta and there are like 5 different kinds available. I do not mind this one as I love palta! A popular fast food item with palta is a completo…a yummy hot dog!
Also to mention, Chile has lots of places to shop for food. They have supermarkets, minimarkets like three or more on a block, and convenience stores! That is a lot of consumption of food! One thing I learned recently is about Cencosud, who owns JUMBO, a massive supermarket in Chile. To me they are disgusting. It is a German family owned multi-business enterprise. They own like all of Chile, it is nuts. Not only that but they also own in other countries. They have the super, a large retain chain, a few malls, including the tallest building Costenera Center (still being built), another small super, and construction stores (larger than home depot) annnnnnd More. Not to mention a credit card for all of these places! Walmart is also here as a leader in the industry…they go by the name Lider in Chile.