Rediscovering Latin American Households

Participant observation experiences with low-income consumers

Alfredo Torres and Paola Ruchman
APOYO Opinion y Mercado S.A.

The Background: Poverty and Socio-economic Distribution in Latin America

It is well known that poverty and inequality in income distribution are increasingly affecting Latin America. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL), 44% of the population in Latin America a region that concentrates more than 400 million inhabitants was below the poverty line in 2002, an increase in comparison to the 43% registered in 2001, and 42% in the previous year. Persons in extreme poverty increased to approximately 20% last year.