Panama flag Panama: Buying and Selling

Advertising and marketing in Panama

Marketing opportunities

Consumer Profile
Panama has the second-highest per capita GDP in the region, nevertheless, poverty and inequality remain widespread: in fact, Panama has the third-worst income distribution in Central America, with a Gini Index of 49.2 points (CIA World Factbook, latest data available). About one-fourth of the population lives in poverty; however, from 2006 to 2012 alone poverty was reduced by 10% (World Bank). The indigenous population accounts for a growing share of Panama's poor and extreme poor, while the non-indigenous rural poor population improved their situation by moving to urban areas. The purchasing power of Panamanian has been on the rise in recent years (World Bank), resulting in an increased interest in quality products and organic food.
The population is concentrated towards the centre of the country, particularly around the Canal, but a considerable number of people also lives in the far west around David; the eastern third of the country is sparsely inhabited.
Consumer Behaviour
Panama claims the second-highest GDP per capita in Latin America and is one of the main markets due to its strategic position and the commercial and financial opportunities that the country has to offer.
Panamanian consumers can be divided into two socio-economical segments: the higher income group, which prefers international products and gives more importance to quality rather than price, which is influenced by American and European trends and likes to go shopping in malls; and the lower-middle-income for which price is the key factor when making a purchase decision, often looking for discounts and buying in department stores and outlets.
Panamanian consumers are open to new products and are now buying more on the internet. Nevertheless, they do not only use the internet to seek discounts, but also to get information and reviews about the products they intend to buy.
The influence of the U.S. is still really strong, thus American brands are generally considered of better quality when compared to similar products of other origins.
When it comes to food, the grocery market in Panama is mostly driven by supermarkets, hypermarkets and independent food stores. In recent years, consuming more convenience and healthy foods has been the trend.
Consumers Associations
Panamanian Institute for Consumer Rights (IPADECU)
Consumer Protection and Competition Defense Authority
Main Advertising Agencies
PUMER advertizing agency (Spanish only)
WX Digital Agency
Tomorrow Digital

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Latest Update: July 2022

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