ARGENTINA – Mexican baked goods giant Grupo Bimbo has inaugurated a new US$100m production line for bread at its facility in Pilar in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina.

The Investment, according to Just Foods is the largest investment in Argentina since entering the country almost three decades ago.

Bimbo has four facilities in Argentina, three in Buenos Aires, and one in Cordoba province. The Company executives said the investment at the Pilar site comes amid rising demand for bread in Argentina.

José Zavalía Lagos, the general manager of Bimbo’s business in Argentina, said the new line will make distribution more effective and allow the company to cover new areas throughout the country.

He also stressed that “due to innovation in recipes and an improvement in the nutritional profile of its products”, none of Bimbo’s products in Argentina have to carry the octagonal labels that highlight the consumer products contain “excess” sugar, sodium, and saturated fats. The labels were introduced in February under new labeling laws.

The investment comes at a time when Argentina’s National Institute for Statistics and Census (INDEC) revealed the country’s monthly inflation reached 12.4% in August after a currency devaluation. Year on year, prices rose 124.4%

In the food and non-alcoholic beverages category, prices rose 15.6% in August versus July, contributing to a 90.2% hike since January 2023, ten points above general inflation.

However, to ease the pressure on consumers and try to boost demand, yesterday Economy Minister and presidential candidate for the October elections, Sergio Massa, announced the government will return to consumers the VAT on purchases of basic goods, including baked goods.

In 2018, Grupo Bimbo added four production lines to its plant in San Fernando by investing US$20.1 million (600 million pesos) into the expansion, allowing it to increase exports to neighboring countries.

According to Bimbo, the investment envisioned supporting both the country and the company’s strategic plans for the region by increasing exports and providing secure employment.

However, in 2021, Bimbo decided to no longer sell frozen baked goods in Argentina after a fire destroyed one of its plants in Buenos Aires province.

The decision followed a fire incident that took place on 9 May at a production facility in San Fernando city where Bimbo manufactured pre-cooked frozen baguettes, pastries, and cookies for the local market.

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