Consumer meal choices in Mexico are shaped by busy lifestyles, according to a new study by Culinary Visions Panel. Over 1,000 Mexican consumers were surveyed about their attitudes and behaviors related to meal choices.

"Mexico's consumers are increasingly looking for dining options which are both convenient and save them time," says Sharon Olson, executive director of Culinary Visions Panel. "Besides caring about convenience, Mexican consumers also desire additional dining choices, such as kid-friendly restaurants, quality products and restaurants that cater to dietary needs. They also have an increased appetite for global and specialty regional foods that they find difficult making on their own."

The five key takeaways from the study are:

  • An overwhelming majority — 76 percent — of Mexican consumers agree that sharing a meal at home with their family is important and 69 percent say preparing a meal together is an important family ritual. Even when dining away from home, Mexican consumers are more interested in kid-friendly restaurants than those in the U.S. and Canada. Sixty-three percent of Mexican consumers believe being kid-friendly in restaurants is important as opposed to just 35 percent of consumers in the other countries.
  • Seventy-six percent of the consumers surveyed believe that it's important they trust restaurants to purchase quality ingredients, while 73 percent believe it's important they trust their local deli to purchase quality ingredients. These numbers are slightly higher than the 68 percent of the consumers surveyed who said they shop at local fresh markets because they know and trust the vendors.
  • Sixty-six percent of the consumers surveyed believe having choices that meet their dietary needs is important and 52 percent of Mexican consumers believe restaurants catering to dietary restrictions are important versus just 39 percent of those surveyed in the U.S. and Canada.
  • A full 58 percent of consumers surveyed believe convenience drives their choices when eating at work and 53 percent believe prepared food from the deli is convenient and generally a good value for the price. Also, 51 percent said they prefer shopping at a deli more than a market because it is more convenient. Convenience is clearly important, yet 41 percent of consumers in Mexico said they would probably wait in a long line rather than skipping a purchase as opposed to just 15 percent of those surveyed in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Although 75 percent of Mexican consumers enjoy ordering Mexican food in restaurants, 69 percent also appreciate international foods when dining out and 45 percent love ordering American food at a restaurant. Convenience is more important to consumers in Mexico where 63 percent say they lack the time to prepare authentic international foods. While 65 percent of those surveyed agreed that Oaxacan cuisine is the most innovative cuisine in the country, 58 percent said they like to purchase authentic foods that are complicated to prepare from a market.