A McKinsey & Co. study finds consumers in Mexico have remained considerably more brand loyal than their American counterparts since the onset of the economic downturn.

The poll of 2,200 shoppers from Mexico and 1,000 from America found 70% of the former had trimmed their spending since the beginning of the downturn. By comparison, only 45% of the latter had done so.

The key difference would appear to be in restaurant spending. Some 66% of Mexican consumers noted they have reduced the amount of food they consumed outside the home vs. 47% of U.S. consumers.

Among those ordering food for takeout, 63% of Mexican consumers had reduced their spending, compared with 43% of Americans, and 60% of Mexicans had cut their prepared food purchases, as opposed to 34% of Americans.

In the grocery store, however, Mexican consumers have largely retained their shopping patterns. Only 4% had switched to less-expensive alternatives within the previous 12 months. Just 6% of Mexican consumers chose more-affordable carbonated beverages during that time, and 3% opted for lower-priced rice. Some 13% of Americans chose less-expensive options in those areas.

Only 1% of Mexican consumers opted for less-expensive candy options. In the U.S., 8% of American consumers traded down for less-expensive confections.

“The food category exemplifies how Mexican consumers have, overall, remained loyal to their brands,” McKinsey & Co.’s study contends.