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Consumer health and wellness market of Latin America in 2022

8 min read
Trends & Research

Consumer health and wellness market of Latin America in 2022

The latest trends, figures, and regional nuances to consider when launching or investing in a product or service in the health and wellness market of Latin America, brought to you by Embria's foremost industry experts.

Is health truly a new wealth?

Recent research and studies of the global consumer health and wellness market show a substantial increase in the prioritization of wellness, health, and personal well-being among people. 79 percent of 7,500 consumers interviewed by McKinsey for their “Future of Wellness” survey in 2021 said they believe that wellness is important, and 42 percent consider it a top priority. In other words, as famous American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson put it in 1860, “The First Wealth is Health,” and studies prove it true.

As people all over the world plan to spend more money on wellness products and services to take care of themselves, this rise presents tremendous opportunities for companies, particularly after the stagnation of spending on personal wellness during COVID-19. However, just as the composition of the wellness economy and its characteristics will be different in different countries, so will be the strategies and products or services that entrepreneurs, founders, and investors will be implementing to succeed on these markets.

In today's article, we'll take a deeper look into the wellness economy of the countries of Latin America (LATAM). We'll see the main trends and tendencies that were developing in this region over the recent years, how it is different from wellness economies in other countries, as well as the key market players, and investment opportunities.  

LATAM wellness economy in facts and figures

According to a recent research report published by the Global Wellness Institute in February 2022, the wellness economy of Latin America and the Caribbean was estimated at $235.4 US billions in 2020. In comparison, the Asian-Pacific market was estimated at $1,500.2 US billions, the North American market at $1,310.8 US billions, and the European market at $1,141.5 US billions. The research states that Latin America-Caribbean’s wellness economy declined the most in 2020 (-22.1%) and was already shrinking prior to the pandemic due to market volatility, economic crises, and consumer spending downturns in several of the region’s largest countries (e.g., Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Venezuela).

When it comes to per capita spending on wellness, in 2020 this figure for LATAM countries reached $360, which is 10 times less than in North America and 4 times less than in Europe. 36% of spending goes to Personal Care & Beauty ($132), 30% goes to Healthy Eating, Nutrition & Weight Loss ($106), and 11% goes to Physical Activity ($43). The rest of the spending covers such categories as Public Health & Personalized Medicine, Mental Wellness, Wellness Tourism, and Workplace Wellness.

As for the top players on the market, the top five counties in the LATAM region by the size of the wellness market are Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. Two of those countries, Brazil and Mexico, are part of the top twenty largest wellness markets in 2020, taking the 11th and 15th positions accordingly (with the US and China sharing the 1st and 2nd ranks). Among the five countries, Argentina stands a bit aside because, despite a quite high level of GDP per capita, the percentage of spending on wellness is the lowest in the list at 2.6%, when on average it's 3.7%.


Wellness economy per capita, $

GDP per capita, $

Economy size, billions

Population, millions

Share of expenses on wellness































Top 5 countries by market size (Source: GWI)

If we take a look at the top five countries by the amount of wellness spending per capita, the landscape will look a bit different and consist of the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Panama, Barbados, and Uruguay. The overall size of the wellness industry in these countries is $16.4 billion, which is comparable to the size of the Argentinian wellness market. The country that is standing out on this list is Costa Rica, as it has the highest percentage of wellness spending (11.35%) and a GDP per capita above the regional average.

LATAM wellness economy trends

Latin America’s wellness economy declined the most in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (especially in Brazil), which made many LATAM consumers reconsider and prioritize the importance of their physical and mental health. This includes exercise, healthier food habits, immunity support, and a more conscious approach to their weight and mental well-being.

Trend #1: Active lifestyle becomes a priority

According to the post-pandemic research done by Glanbia Nutritionals, South America is leading globally in the proportion of consumers who plan to become more active after COVID-19 (at 50%), compared to North America at 40% and Europe at 34%.

Trend #2: Weight management

Consumers’ activity levels have declined significantly due to pandemic lockdowns, making weight loss and management increasingly important. More than half of those going to the gym are still not satisfied with the results they get. In addition, some people are trying to compensate the lack of physical activity with healthier eating habits. For example, 37% of Brazilians are choosing to eat healthier due to their decrease in physical activity. 

Trend #3: Immunity

Immunity is another top wellness trend in Latin America. Consumers are paying more attention to products with immune benefits. For instance, vitamin C became the best-selling supplement in 2020, and 82% of Brazilians expressed an interest in vitamins, minerals, and supplements that could boost their immune system. Three out of four Peruvian consumers are including immunity-supporting foods in their diets.

Trend #4: Mental health

56% of Brazilian consumers agree that their mental well-being is becoming more and more critical to them, and 63% indicate they would like to have more food or drinks with ingredients that can improve their mental or emotional health.

LATAM mobile wellness app market

When looking into launching a new product or service on a particular market, a web or mobile application in particular, it’s also essential to consider the current regional digital health market landscape, and see what wellness apps people are using the most and why. Here, we’ll be focusing on the main three segments: fitness apps, mediation apps, and nutrition apps.

The digital health market of Latin America is very similar to the US in its structure, with fitness apps being the most popular among consumers. Those apps bring 55% of the segment's revenue in the US and 60% in LATAM. Among the three wellness app categories, nutrition apps are the least popular among users and are expected to see the least growth by 2026, as well as the lowest spending per user.

Overall, Latin America's wellness market is expected to grow by 15%, which is higher than in the US (10%). The use of wellness apps in LATAM in general is still quite low, and the entire market is comparable in volume to the US, although the population of the US is twice as small (654 million vs. 331 million).


Fitness apps

Nutrition apps

Meditation apps

Digital Health

Revenue 2022, mln $




1 285

Average annual growth until 2026





Revenue 2026, mln $

1 381



2 289

% of installs in 2022




% of installs in 2026




ARPU 2022, $





ARPU 2026, $





Installations 2022: mln units





Installations 2026: mln units





Mobile wellness apps market in Latin America (Source: Statista)

If we look at the top countries by revenue from wellness applications, we see that meditation apps are most popular in Argentina and Chile, while fitness apps are most popular in the rest of the countries. In the meantime, nutrition apps are getting more traction in Brazil and Mexico.

Argentina and Chile seem to be the most promising markets, both in terms of consumers' paying capacity and market size. A large share of meditation app revenue indicates that there is a growing interest in mindfulness in these countries. In addition, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile have the highest percentage of obese adults (28.9%, 28.3%, and 28%, compared to 36.2% in the US), so a mindful approach to eating can find its audience in these countries.

If we look at the popularity of all wellness apps across two major mobile platforms, we see that Android is leading by downloads (82.5%), but iOS is leading by revenue (73%).

Now let’s see what wellness apps are downloaded and used the most in the region. This information is based on the data from the Sensor Tower.

Top wellness apps in Latin America (by downloads)

With fitness apps being the most popular among LATAM consumers, those apps hit the top in the number of downloads among all other wellness apps. The most leading app in this segment is the app of the Ministry of Health of Brazil. It's also worth noting the popularity of a steps-counting app, Sweatcoin Walking Step Counter, where users get rewarded with crypto coins for walking a certain number of steps a day.

Mobile app


Downloads (June 2021–May 2022)

Conecte SUS

Disease Management

29 680 180


Fitness & Sport

12 169 870

Sweatcoin Walking Step Counter

Fitness & Sport

11 202 166

Flo Period Tracker

Women Health

8 465 455

Six Pack in 30 Days

Weight Loss

7 595 119

Home Workout

Fitness & Sport

7 561 510

Fitness Coach & Diet

Weight Loss

6 973 272

Workout for Women

Fitness & Sport

6 772 882

Lose Weight

Weight Loss

6 179 052

Workouts by Muscle Booster

Fitness & Sport

5 925 583

Period Tracker Period Calendar

Women Health

5 754 757

Lose Belly Fat

Weight Loss

5 090 264

Top wellness apps in Latin America (by revenue)

The top apps by revenue also confirm the discovered trends: fitness and meditation apps are the ones that generate the most revenue. It's worth noting the popularity of the esoteric application called “Psychics - psychic reading” for predictions, tarot card readings, and communication with astrologists.

Mobile app


Revenue (June 2021–May 2022)

Strava: Run and Ride Tracker

Fitness & Sport

3 448 137


Meditation, Sleep

2 322 674

Flo Period Tracker

Women Health

2 264 777

Meditopia: Meditation


1 960 582

Psychics - psychic reading

Other mental wellness

1 951 128

Workouts by Muscle Booster

Fitness & Sport

1 597 780

Fitness Coach & Diet

Weight Loss

1 509 293

Headspace: Mindful Meditation

Meditation, Sleep

1 166 665

Investing in the LATAM wellness economy

As for the investment dynamics, according to the CB Insights' State of Digital Health report, the amount of funding in Latin America's wellness market more than doubled in 2021, from $149 million in 2020 to $340 million and 57 deals in total. The largest portion of this funding goes to early-stage deals—72% of the total number of deals.

But in general, the amount of funding in the LATAM wellness market is still very small, compared to the US and other markets (108 times less than the US, 28 times less than Asia, and 11 times less than Europe).


As we see, the wellness market in Latin America is still in its early stages compared to other wealthier regions. However, since COVID-19, consumers are paying more attention to their health and are willing to spend more on their physical and mental well-being, which opens up opportunities for new products and services in this region.

If you’d like to or are already planning to launch a wellness digital product in Latin America and are looking for an experienced and trusted co-founding partner to help you build, grow, and lead your business in this region, please reach out to us here and let’s discuss your idea. 

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