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A Look At The Hispanic Food and Beverage Consumer 

19 Jan 2018 Ann D'Adamo

in Food & Beverage,

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Propelled by the twin engines of population growth and expanding buying power, Hispanic consumers are an increasingly important audience for CPG brands.  Researchers found Hispanics shoppers are more open to experimentation with flavors and products, spend more on food and beverage, and enjoy the shopping and cooking experience more than total U.S. shoppers, making them a prime target for marketers. 

Food Is a Family Affair

For Hispanic consumers, shopping is an experience to be shared with family. Before heading to the store, 91% of Hispanic shoppers ask family members to weigh in on what they want and 44% say they’ll buy a brand because their kids asked for it. Research shows that Hispanic consumers spend more on food than non-Hispanics ($81 per trip vs. $71 for non-Hispanics) and are more likely to shop with a family member such as a spouse, children, or member of their extended family than other shoppers. In fact, 89% of Hispanic shoppers with kids say they rarely shop alone and their children have a significant impact on the foods they purchase: kids influence 30% of cereal, 28% of snack, and 24% of candy purchases. Instead of dreading their trip to the grocery store with family in tow, 72% of Hispanic consumers say they enjoy the grocery shopping experience. 

Embracing Both Tradition and Innovation

Food ties Hispanic consumers to their culture and heritage—they are almost twice as likely as other demographics to buy grocery brands that are ethnically “authentic” and almost half say their mom is a source of cooking inspiration. While celebrating with traditional foods is an important aspect of Hispanic culture, their bi-cultural experience as Americans also opens them up to experimentation. Fifty five percent say they often try new flavors and products and 65% enjoy preparing new dishes. Inspiration often comes from online sources such as websites and blogs (47%), cooking shows (45%), and online video (34%). Hispanic consumers are unique in that they are living with two cultures by choice and with demonstrated purpose. To reach this consumer, marketers need an approach that addresses both the inherent emotional value attached to food through their heritage and the excitement of American popular culture. 

A Healthy-First Approach

Hispanic shoppers’ engagement with healthier choices is growing as they increasingly seek out organic and natural foods as part of a holistic lifestyle. Researchers found that about one-third of their overall shopping basket consists of organic and natural products. They are more likely than non-Hispanics to buy foods containing whole grains or those enhanced with Omega-3 oils, and with sugar-free/low-sugar, low-fat, and “free-from” claims. Although they are proactive about health and nutrition, 50% admit to being confused by conflicting information about healthy eating and a quarter say they would like to eat more healthfully, but they don’t know where to begin. Offering content that addresses these challenges with science-backed claims may be helpful in engaging this consumer. 

Tech Savvy

Technology plays an important role in this consumer’s purchase journey. Thirty nine percent review a digital flyer before going to the store, 36% get coupons on their mobile phone or use a mobile coupon at checkout, 37% compare prices while shopping, and 30% share promotions or coupons with friends/family on social. While only 54% of Hispanics say they have access to online grocery shopping, 65% of those consumers say they have ordered grocery items online and 46% do so at least once a month. Amazon aims to make strategic inroads with Hispanic consumers and it appears to be working, last year 23% of Hispanics said they were shopping on Amazon at least monthly and 17% said they intend to spend more on consumer-packaged goods on the site. 

The vibrant Hispanic embraces food as an integral part of their heritage, but with a uniquely American spin. Marketers should embrace these cultural differences and develop meaningful strategies that engage this shopper. Learn how our suite of marketing services can help you reach the consumers that matter most. 

Contact us today!

Sources: Acosta: The Why Behind the Buy U.S. Hispanic Shopper Study 6th Edition 2017, AdAge Losing Hispanic Customers? Don’t Blame Trump, Blame Amazon 2017,  SML Group U.S. Hispanic Purchase Behaviors Current Food/Beverage Trends 2017

Food & Beverage