Country Profile

Chile Country Profile

Discover more about the Chilean market including overviews about the retail, food service, and food processing sectors. Events, resources, and more are linked throughout the profile.

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Market Overview

Online Product Catalog Participation Success

largest market in South America for U.S. agricultural products

First-Time Export Sale

of the market share for Chile agricultural products is from the U.S.

New Foreign Buyer Contacts

the year that the U.S. - Chile FTA dropped all tariffs on agricultural products from the U.S. to "zero"

USDA’s Office of Agricultural Affairs (OAA) in Santiago, hereinafter referred to as “Post,” and Food Export’s In-Market Representative report that Chile is the second-largest market in South America for U.S agricultural products, reaching US$1.24 billion, representing a 26.4% increase in 2021 and is the second-largest market in South America for U.S consumer-oriented agricultural products with US$830.4 million of exports in 2021.   

While 2022 data is not fully available, a small decrease in total agricultural exports from the U.S. is expected, but stability remains when it comes to the imports of processed foods.  

The United States is the third largest supplier of agricultural and related products to Chile, after Argentina and Brazil, holding 11% of the market. Due to the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Chile has dropped all tariffs on agricultural products to zero. Chile has solid political institutions, a stable macroeconomic environment, and well-functioning financial markets ranking among the highest nations in competitiveness in Latin America and the Caribbean. Chile has one of the highest incomes per capita in Latin America (ranking first in some years).   

Opportunities and Challenges for U.S. Food Exporters in Chile

Chile has both opportunities and challenges for U.S. food exporters.


  • Highest per capita income in Latin America.   
  • The food processing sector is developed, and imports account for around half of all ingredients used domestically.   
  • Clear rules and transparent regulations encourage fair competition.  
  • The purchasing power of Chile’s middle and upper-middle-income consumers continues to rise.  
  • The U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement ensures no duties for all U.S. agricultural products.  
  • U.S. brands are regarded as high quality. Many well-known brands are already popular in the market.  
  • Demand for premium processed foods and beverages that provide convenience and health benefits continues to increase.


  • Chile has FTAs with 65 economies worldwide, so they do not depend on imports from a specific region. Imports that offer the best price and quality worldwide are the most attractive.  
  • Nutritional labeling is required for products that are high in fat, sodium, and sugar.  
  • Chilean customers are used to competitive prices due to the openness of the economy.  
  • Lack of awareness of Chilean consumers and importers on the variety and quality of U.S. products.  
  • Chileans are price sensitive, especially during economic slowdowns.  
  • Increased inflation and economic slowdown are expected in 2023.

“All of Food Export's programs were a tremendous help getting us export ready, understanding the challenges that come with international business, and learning how to navigate them.

Katz Gluten Free

Food Export-Northeast Participant since 2018

Interested in importing from U.S. suppliers?
Contact us to learn more.

Retail Sector

Over $100k in New Export Sales

$17.2 Billion
estimated retail sales in the packaged food market to Chile for 2022

Over 20% Increase in Sales

increase in the packaged food market in Chile since 2018

Market Access Program (MAP) Funding

$20 Billion
estimated retail sales in the packaged food market in Chile by 2026

The Chilean retail sector is composed of a mix of large supermarkets, mid-sized grocery stores, convenience stores, gas station markets, and thousands of smaller independent neighborhood mom-and-pop shops. Post reports that Chile’s retail food sales totaled US$25.6 billion in 2021, representing a 7.6% increase over 2020, whereas supermarket food sales totaled US$14.4 billion, representing 56.3% of total retail food sales in 2021. Despite an estimated decrease in retail sales n 2022, Euromonitor has projected a 2.3% increase per year in retail food sales up to 2026.  

The strict lockdowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic increased online shopping from traditional retailers and via third-party platforms (mainly delivery apps) resulting in 58% of consumers making most retail purchases online in 2021, with one of the largest stores in Chile reporting in 2022 around half of its sales to be online. Chilean consumers consider U.S brands as high-quality, and many of them are well known and present in the market.   

Although there is a demand for natural/healthy products, the Chilean market has been returning to look for indulgence, sweets, and snacks.  

Top product prospects include bakery goods, beef and beef-related products, beer and distilled spirits, cereals, dairy products (premium cheeses and ice creams), egg and egg products, food preparations and soup, natural/healthy products, pasta, pet food, pork and pork products, processed vegetables, pulses, poultry products, tree nuts, and sweeteners.

Food Service Sector

In 2021, the foodservice sector began to recover from the pandemic, and by October 2022, most of the COVID-19 restrictions, such as the use of masks and mobility passes, were lifted. In 2021, consumer foodservice sales grew by 42.5%, reaching $3.5 billion.   

While most of the HRI sector caters to domestic consumers, Chile has a well-developed tourism industry that, before the pandemic, was a destination for adventure tourism, business travel, and events. It also has both domestic and international hotels and restaurants, many of which offer a wide variety of imported food products.  

Even though most of the common distribution channels are local importers and distributors, big box stores and traditional wholesalers have gained appeal in the HRI sector, especially to small firms/independent restaurants and cafeterias. Most hotel and restaurant operators do not import directly.     

Top product prospects include bakery goods, beef and beef products, cereals, condiments and sauces, craft beer, dairy products (cream cheese and mozzarella), pasta, pork and pork products, poultry products, pulses, soup, sweeteners, and tree nuts.

Food-Processing Sector

First-Time Export Sale

of all processed food products are sold to super markets and hypermarkets

Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) Fund

of Chile's national GDP is represented by the food processing industry

Market Access Program (MAP) Funding

of all Chile's exports are accounted by food and beverage processing

Chile has a modern and developed food processing industry that represents 13.5% of Chile’s agricultural exports, at $12.8 billion in 2021, and one of the most important economic sectors, contributing 4.5% to the national GDP. In 2021, the United States remained Chile’s third leading food ingredients supplier after Argentina and Brazil. Due to the increasing concerns about health-related issues, there’s a demand in the market for products and ingredients marked as natural, and their ingredients offer good prospects. In addition, many Chilean consumers can afford to buy high-end U.S. products such as beef, pork, dairy products, and distilled spirits. Additionally, prepared foods and ready-to-eat meals have become part of many Chilean diets due to their versatility and availability in many distribution channels. 

Top product prospects include beef products, bakery goods, cereals and pasta, chocolate and cocoa products, condiments and sauces, corn, dairy, distilled spirits, food preparations, fresh fruits, pork products, poultry products, tree nuts, and wheat.


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