Want more Hispanic shoppers? Entertain them.

Articles
July 15, 2009

Want more Hispanic shoppers? Entertain them.

Are retailers and consumer packaged goods manufacturers doing enough to truly satisfy the nation’s fast-growing Hispanic population, by playing up the rich role of food in their families, traditions and cultures? The market size seems to warrant the effort: Currently 15% of the United States populace at 48 million people, Hispanics are projected to grow to 60 million by 2020 and 103 million by 2050, at which time they’ll comprise 25% of the country, the U.S. Census Bureau forecast. This translates into approximately $1 trillion in buying power today, more than four times the $220 million level of 1990, reported the Selig Center for Economic Growth, Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. Since Hispanics enjoy food and “spend more on groceries than any other segment of the population,” according to the Food Marketing Institute, could stores attract more shoppers and higher productivity by getting in on the fun and offering experiential marketing? A new survey from Mercury Mambo, which executes sales promotions, sampling and retailtainment events, addressed this topic and found that: • 78% of consumers purchased a featured product after participating in both a price promotion and store event. • One-third of consumers said they are participating in more promotions and events • 72% of retailers felt that store promotions with entertainment were very effective in reaching their consumer base.

Are retailers and consumer packaged goods manufacturers doing enough to truly satisfy the nation’s fast-growing Hispanic population, by playing up the rich role of food in their families, traditions and cultures?

The market size seems to warrant the effort: Currently 15% of the United States populace at 48 million people, Hispanics are projected to grow to 60 million by 2020 and 103 million by 2050, at which time they’ll comprise 25% of the country, the U.S. Census Bureau forecast.

This translates into approximately $1 trillion in buying power today, more than four times the $220 million level of 1990, reported the Selig Center for Economic Growth, Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia.

Since Hispanics enjoy food and “spend more on groceries than any other segment of the population,” according to the Food Marketing Institute, could stores attract more shoppers and higher productivity by getting in on the fun and offering experiential marketing? A new survey from Mercury Mambo, which executes sales promotions, sampling and retailtainment events, addressed this topic and found that:
•    78% of consumers purchased a featured product after participating in both a price promotion and store event.
•    One-third of consumers said they are participating in more promotions and events
•    72% of retailers felt that store promotions with entertainment were very effective in reaching their consumer base.

Their survey of consumers and retailers was meant to uncover trade opportunities and fill a research void. The company expressed on its web site that “the Spanish-speaking consumer segment and retailers located in high Hispanic neighborhoods are often under-represented in existing research studies.”

Other observations of the Mercury Mambo study:
•    The difficult economy has Hispanics implementing multiple savings strategies—buying generic, using coupons/offers/sampling, shopping at discount stores, and waiting to buy.
•    Consumers and retailers generally agree on the most appealing promotions and events.

Some of their figures tend to corroborate findings of a major Unilever report, Winning The Hispanic Shopping Trip, from 2006. This earlier research identified Friendly/helpful staff, Fun place to shop, Enjoy trip and Enjoyable music playing as the Top Four Hispanic trip satisfaction drivers.  The Unilever study also found that supermarkets attract 67% of Hispanic shopping trips, but that Hispanics are more open to shop less traditional channels.

This raises an intriguing question: Are entertaining events more suited for good times, or for challenging periods like now when people could use a lift? Our thought at SupermarketGuru.com is that fun, delivered in the right measure, brings welcome relief from the tedium of shopping. As long as a store has its fundamentals right, let’s dance.