Latino Infusion Heats Up

July 21, 2010

A spate of new research yields keen insights into the increasingly important Hispanic market.

A spate of new research yields keen insights into the increasingly important Hispanic market. Key takeaways for brand marketers and retailers can help them to better understand and satisfy these distinct population groups without inadvertently offending them, since they are heterogeneous in many ways. 

The entry of Latinas (women of Latin American or Spanish origin) into their peak earning years and relative youth (25% of the children born in the United States today are Hispanic), as Mintel notes, should make them pivotal to retail success for decades to come, in our opinion.

The Lempert Report sees a payoff for brands and retailers that strategize, communicate, assort and merchandise to keep on course with Hispanics, perhaps using lessons from experts such as H.E.Butt, Carnival, and Pro’s Ranch Markets. To study newly released findings will also be constructive.

According to the Beyond Demographics study by Starcom MediaVest Group and NBC Universal’s Telemundo, a dozen different identity profiles characterize the Latino population in the U.S. – from assimilation level to language preference, urban/rural, traditional culture retention and more. Coverage of the study by MediaPost News delineates the New Arrivals, Traditionals, Social Challengers and other groups named by the researchers.

There are also four personality types for food marketers to learn – agents for change, cultural revivers, achievement bound, and principles-led, the study showed. Clearly, there is much for marketers to navigate, and the populations that surround specific stores will dictate the most successful strategies.

Meanwhile, Hispanic women “are more sophisticated, English-dominant, bi-cultural and also retro-cultural than they have ever been…and are much more likely to respond to marketers who…speak to them as Latinas,” according to MediaPost News Marketing Daily coverage of a Mintel webinar by Leylha Ahuile, senior analyst of multicultural reports at the research firm.

Satisfying the burgeoning Hispanic consumer is one matter. Another is pleasing the nation’s demand for Hispanic cuisine among other population groups—a popular trend driven by widespread exposure of foods from dozens of different homelands as well as the Americanized versions.  A new Packaged Facts report, Hispanic Food and Beverages in the U.S.: Market and Consumer Trends in Latino Cuisine, 4th Edition, projects growth to $10 billion in 2014, up from $7 billion currently. “Hispanic shoppers spend significantly more than other groups on food consumed at home, due to the importance of family mealtime and larger family units,” said coverage of the study in QSR. The Packaged Facts study focuses on three segments of food and beverages: Mainstream Mexican, Authentic Hispanic, and Nuevo Latino.