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Is Latin American Fare the Next Fast Food Sensation?

Is Latin American Fare the Next  Fast Food Sensation?

Is the world of fast food becoming complacent? Have chicken wings, pizza burgers and dogs had their day? Could the next sustainable food trend come from South America and see street corner outlets selling Peruvian sanguches, completos and plátano mixto springing up in American cities?

Well, yes and no. While no-one sees the traditional market shrinking away, consumers are much more open to new flavors and experiences. A recent report in International Business Review tips food from South of the Border as the trend to watch. Latin takes on familiar foods such as hot dogs and doughnuts are also poised to grab a notable market share, it asserts.

Brazilian and franchises from other parts of the continent have shown considerable growth and according to Venezuelan entrepreneur Leonardo González Dellán, this is only the start. “The bottom line is that franchises that originate in emerging markets are doing better in other emerging markets than ones that originate in more economically developed countries”

“This is because these businesses do not see high levels of corruption or inefficiencies in doing business as unacceptable obstacles to opening up. Indeed, the evidence suggests that Brazilian franchise chains, in food and other sectors, do not see corruption as necessarily inhibiting their ability to do business in emerging markets and the least developed countries in Latin America. In short, they are better able to deal with problems around contracts, complex or contradictory regulations and political instability. 

“More generally, emerging market multinationals are more prevalent in less developed countries compared with traditional MNEs – they turn their own experience into a competitive advantage. With these business experiences behind the teams who have made a success in the Latin America look set to take the world by surprise.”
Five chains may be set for international expansion. Some have yet to adopt the the franchise business model but all seem to possess what is needed to to take on American brands in their own back yard.

Baleadas Express 

Baleada is a Honduran floured tortilla usually filled with mashed red beans. As the franchise restaurant chain Freshii has proven, fresh food, served quickly is very much on trend right now. 100 restaurant across the country are providing these, along with hot dogs, plátano mixto, and enchiladas.

Operating since 1997, Venezuelan Churromania already boasts locations in Florida and Texas and appears capable of taking a big bite out of the doughnut market.

The Californian Burrito company

Argentina’s Californian Burrito Company launch in 2006 and has already infiltrated much of the South American continent, with openings in Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Uruguay and Brazil.

Pasquale Hnos

The Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio set up Pasquale Hnos in Lima to serve Peruvian sanguches, chicha morada and native desserts. The outlets also offer the purple corn drink chicha morada and Peruvian desserts such as suspiro a la limeña, arroz con leche mazamorrero, mousse de maracuya, tres leches and cremoladas.


Hot dogs topped with guacamole, chopped tomatoes, mayo and sauerkraut is a simple ideas but one with certified wide appeal – this fast food concept is as big as McDonald’s in Peru, so look out Peoria.

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