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Latin Music, Violence, and Grupo Bimbo

Latinometrics Weekly
Welcome to Latinometrics. We bring you Latin American insights and trends through concise, thought-provoking data visualizations.
Thank you to the 47 new subscribers who have joined us since last week!
Today’s charts:
  1. Best-Selling Latino albums in history
  2. Good news regarding homicide in LatAm
  3. 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 🎵
All-Time Best-Selling Latin Albums
All-Time Best-Selling Latin Albums
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.
Demographics 🚔
Have Latin Americans Become Less Violent?
Have Latin Americans Become Less Violent?
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 of them are in Mexico. In terms of 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 population growth. For example, suppose a country composed of 100 citizens had 20 homicides in 1990. Then in 2019, that same country has grown 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 Latin America.
The homicide rate of every single Latin American country has dropped in the last 30 years. Peru stands out with the lowest homicide rate both in 1990 and 2019. Its current rate is lower than Europe’s average. The most significant drop came from Guatemala, which went from 71 to 38 homicides per 100,000 people. In 2007, the CICIG was formed in Guatemala, bringing the decades of unchecked violence and crime to a turning point.
The CICIG was an independent investigative body operating under Guatemalan law and reliant on the local justice system; it was commended for its fight against corruption and organized crime by the UN, the EU, and both US political parties. Tragically in 2019, then-president Jimmy Morales, who was under investigation for money laundering, terminated the CICIG with support from business elites and outrage from almost everyone else.
Business 💼
Revenue Breakdown: Grupo Bimbo
Revenue Breakdown: Grupo Bimbo
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
Hiring Managers: Reply to this email if you’d like to feature an open role in our newsletter.
That’s all for this week 👋
Want more?
Comment of the Week, which came from our US - Mexico gas prices chart on Reddit
Comment of the Week
Comment of the Week
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