Food and beverages

Importance of the sector in Guatemala:

production in all the food and
beverage sectors, as of 2019.

represents the Food and Beverage sector in 2019.

in quetzales paid as salaries in 2018, representing 5.6% 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: Banco de Guatemala 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.

Imports for that year totaled USD$2.7 billion. Commercial exchange reached nearly USD$4.4 billion in 2020, equivalent to 14% of the total trade of the country.


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

Trade Agreements in Force:

Guatemala is a signatory to various trade agreements that allow it to have preferential access to the following markets.







We invite you to learn more about investment opportunities in food and beverages.

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