Latin Music, Violence, and Grupo Bimbo
Welcome to Latinometrics. We bring you Latin American insights and trends through concise, thought-provoking data visualizations.
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Best-Selling Latino albums in history
Good news regarding homicide in LatAm
Grupo Bimbo’s international revenues
Our gas prices chart was trending on Reddit last week! We found our comment of the week on that post, check it out at the bottom.
Music Industry 🎵
Carlos Santana, the legendary Mexican guitarist from Jalisco, has recorded many global hits in his lifetime. But did you know that he (alongside his band) produced the best-selling Latin album of all time? Released in 1999, “Supernatural” had sales just short of 20M worldwide, placing it above Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ and The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.’
Remarkably, Puerto Rican Ricky Martin appears twice in the historical Top 10 chart. Part of his success and upbringing is credited to Cuban producer Emilio Estefan, husband of Gloria Estefan (also on the chart). Emilio paved the way for many Latino artists in the 90s, including Jennifer Lopez, whose album ‘On the 6’ sits at #3.
Since the music industry has changed a lot in the last decade with the rise of streaming, it’s unlikely that we will ever see this ranking change. Few people buy albums anymore, and artists have focused more on releasing hit singles instead of hit albums. Today, Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart has Bad Bunny’s ‘YHLQMDLG’ at #1 , which stands for “Yo hago lo que me de la gana,” translating to “I do whatever I want”. Bad Bunny has also been Billboard’s Latin artist of the year for three years in a row.
Violence in Latin America is often talked about negatively. That's no surprise: 15 out of the 20 most violent cities globally are Latin American, and 9 are in Mexico. Regarding total homicides, many countries in our region have had steady rises for years. However, one important metric is less discussed: homicide rate per 100,000 people.
In theory, this metric can tell us whether a population has become more or less violent over time because it factors in population growth. For example, suppose a country composed of 100 citizens had 20 homicides in 1990. Then in 2019, that same country grew to 200 citizens, and 21 homicides were reported. Did that country become more violent? In fact, when we look at homicide rates, the story is positive for half of Latin America.
Half of Latin American countries (everything from Honduras to the right on the chart) have dropped their homicide rates. Peru stands out with the most significant drop and the lowest homicide rate in 2019. Its latest rate is lower than that of the United States.
On the other hand, Venezuela has experienced the biggest increase in homicide rate, a whopping 156% since 1990. The rise has been attributed to the country's poor political and economic environment over the last few decades.
Bimbo is one of the largest bakeries in the world, operating over 100 brands in more than 33 countries. The 76-year-old company began with the mission of baking “truly good, nutritious, tasty, and fresh bread” in Mexico City. The bread immediately became a hit, and demand for it spread across the country.
Over the next few decades, Bimbo expanded its product line to bread-based treats through Marinela and potato/tortilla chips through Barcel, two of its most important brands today. The company officially became a multinational corporation 40 years after its inception, in 1984, by exporting to the US. That was just the beginning of a massive expansion across the globe. Starting in the 90s, Grupo Bimbo acquired a series of companies that enabled it to enter foreign markets like Chile, Brazil, and China.
Bimbo became the US’s largest bread company after acquiring George Weston Limited in 2002 and Sara Lee North America in 2011. According to Statista, Bimbo had a 29.3% bread market share in the country in 2019. Takis Fuego, one of the chips made by the Barcel brand, entered the US market and won the hearts of millions of Americans, especially teenagers. IRI market research data indicates that in 2019, Takis Fuego became the 2nd best-sold tortilla chip in the country. Grupo Bimbo’s North American segment has been its most profitable since 2012.
Realize Latin America’s Potential 🚀
Hand-selected job opportunities for our audience
This week’s opportunity:
Bloomberg is looking for a Global Data Economics Analyst in Mexico City.
Requirements: 1-3 years of data or research experience, good communication, and statistical tools knowledge
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That’s all for this week 👋
Comment of the Week, which came from our US - Mexico gas prices chart on Reddit