Research: Upscale Hispanic Consumers…and influencing Eating Habits

Two new research studies have been recently published. One higlights an often neglected aspect of the Hispanic consumer; many Hispanics, more than 8 million, are higher income consumers living in the U.S.  The other study shows how Hispanic eating habits are influencing eating habits of the overall U.S. population.

  • Hispanics and affluent!

Highlighting the opportunities generated by the 8.2 million Latino adults living in households with an income of $75,000 or more, a study by  Packaged Facts' called “Upscale Latino Consumers” in the U.S. calls for a shift in strategic thinking about the Hispanic market.

Between 2000 and 2010 the number of Upscale Latino households more than doubled from 1.3 million to 2.9 million, and grew three times faster than the number of non-Latino Upscale Consumer households. Upscale Latino households account for only 21% of all Latino households but now generate 51% of their aggregate income.

With buying power that is expected to reach $680 billion in 2016, Upscale Latinos have an outsize impact on marketing and sales success in the Latino market. Internet marketers and retailers, among others, should place a high priority on reaching out to these shoppers, who account for two-thirds of all Latinos who annually spend $1,000 or more online.

  • Hispanics influencing Americans Eating Habits

The U.S. Census indicates that the Hispanic population is expected to grow 34 percent from 2010 to 2020. Foodservice market research company NPD Group has found that this growth is beginning to influence national consumption patterns.

One of the categories where Hispanics are influencing consumption patterns is at breakfast, according to NPD's NET (National Eating Trends) Hispanic, which is a year-long study that captures the in-home and away-from-home food and beverage consumption habits of Hispanics in the U.S. by level of acculturation. For example, NET Hispanic reports that while non-Hispanics include non-toasted bread in 2 percent of their breakfast meals, 12 percent of Hispanics' breakfasts include non-toasted bread. Throughout the last decade, typical consumers decreased the number of times they include non-toasted bread with their breakfasts.

"This shift could bode well for bread makers and bakery departments, and they should make efforts to connect with Hispanics sooner rather than later," said Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst at NPD. "On the flip side, hot cereal marketers will need to appeal to this group in ways that differ from traditional efforts. For example, the warmth and convenience of hot cereal could be important aspects to highlight, as Hispanics are already consuming warm breakfasts at above average rates."

  • Lunch and dinner

Dinner meal side dishes are another category that is being influenced by Hispanic consumption behavior, according to NET Hispanic. Hispanics eat rice more often at lunch and dinner compared to non-Hispanics; and in a time when side dish consumption has been declining across all major categories, both plain and flavored rice are being included in more meals as a side dish among the overall population.

"Hispanics are a large and quickly growing group, and they will likely move the needle on national consumption trends over the next 10 years," Seifer said. "Marketers who wish to stay ahead of this growth should invest in understanding not only U.S. Hispanics' behaviors, but also the traditions they honor at the dining table."


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Marcos Baer @MarcosBaer

Marcos oversees editorial and sales. He is based in Portada's NYC headquarters. Prior to launching Portada in 2003, Marcos worked in both the media and finance sectors. He occupied leading roles at the Spanish edition of The Wall Street Journal, in Spain’s newspaper Cinco Dias and at SwissRe. He is an MBA, and a CFA. Marcos is a print junkie and also loves all things digital media. He also is passionate about everything related to New York City and loves to play tennis.

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