Food and beverages

Importance of the sector in Guatemala:

production in the food and
beverage sector, 2019.

was represented by this industry in 2019.

paid as salaries in 2019, representing 5.5% of
the total paid that year in the whole economy.

405,942 jobs generated in 2019.

is the market size of the food and beverage sector in Guatemala.

Source: Guatemala’s Central Bank, for the data on production, jobs, and salaries paid, from documents on the job matrix and the production account. 

Market size data from Euromonitor, in its reports on Soft Drinks, Packaged Food and Alcoholic Drinks.

Foreign trade:

The market size of the food and beverage sector in Guatemala is USD$12.3 billion. An average 15% of the country’s exports are from this sector, and in 2019, they reached an amount of USD$1.7 billion.

That year, imports came to USD$2.7 billion in total. By 2020, commerce had increased to around USD$4.4 billion, or 14% of the nation’s total trade.


US$ 1.7 billion
Crec.Vs AA = -4.4%
CAGR* 19-15 = 4.8%


US$ 2.7 billion
Crec.Vs AA = 6.3%
CAGR* 19-15 = 5.6%

Main Purchasing
Countries 2019

El Salvador: 19%
Honduras: 14%
México: 12%

Main Selling
Countries 2019

United States: 45%
Mexico: 12%
Costa Rica: 10%

Accumulated Trade
up to March 2021

Exports.: US$11 billion
Imports.: US$17 billion

Source: For this foreign trade analysis the following chapters were used: 02,03,04,10,16,19 to 23, which mostly reflect the food and beverage sector.

Key Free Trade Agreements:

Due to its participation in a number of free trade agreements, Guatemala is granted preferential access to the following markets.







Learn more about investment opportunities and operating costs in the food and beverages industry

Operating Costs:

Main Operating Costs

Ingredients for production:
• Sugar and glucose – USD$11.45 cts/lb.
• Secondary containers and packages
• Labels (flexible)
• Milk and derivatives
• Flavors and concentrates

Administrative costs:
• Business startup costs – USD$655
• Average sector salary – USD$604.45

*The cost varies if the product is for export or local market.

Electricity and Gas

Guatemala has the most competitive electricity costs for businesses in the region. A comparative chart for Central America shows that the cost per kWh in Guatemala is USD$0.16 versus USD$0.22 in Costa Rica, USD$ 0.19 in El Salvador, USD$ 0.24 in Nicaragua, USD$ 0.22 in Honduras, and USD$0.20 in Panama.

Source: Global Petrol Prices, 2020


In the municipality of Guatemala, if the service is provided by the municipal government:

• The cost of purchasing the right to water service ranges from: USD$779.22 to USD$6493.50

• The fee for private water consumption varies, depending on the range of consumption: from 1 to 20 m3, a fixed rate of USD$ 2.07 plus USD$ 0.29 per m3 used. For 121 m3 and up, a fixed rate of USD$ 2.07 plus USD$ 1.45 per m3 used.

*The cost of municipal potable-water services is set by each local government and
it varies in each municipality