What Hispanic longevity means to supermarkets

Articles
December 15, 2010

What Hispanic longevity means to supermarkets

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects that Hispanics will live beyond 80 years of age vs. 78 for whites and nearly 73 for blacks.

Hispanics that have shown fortitude in immigrating to the United States apply similar strengths to living longer lives here than whites or blacks. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects that Hispanics will live beyond 80 years of age vs. 78 for whites and nearly 73 for blacks.

This may be surprising to many, given Hispanics’ high rates of Type 2 diabetes and other aspects of lifestyle – but the difficulties many faced in coming to the U.S. may exemplify the saying, “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” Hispanics already account for 15% of the U.S. populace, and they are outpacing all other minorities in growth.

The nation’s food stores that learn from the models of HEB, Pro’s Ranch Markets, Avanza, Supermercardo de Walmart and others, will be best able to capitalize on the growing importance of this segment. That means understanding the different levels of acculturation within households and trading areas, as well as the Hispanic respect of elders—and what these will mean to the food assortments and shopping environments that click with these shoppers.  

For example, supermarkets should consider the following, believes The Lempert Report: Which brands from which native homelands should be imported? In which categories could private labels gain traction and appeal to these shoppers? How important is dual-language messaging on websites, in circulars, on packages, and elsewhere? Because of the high incidence of Type 2 diabetes among Hispanics, is there an opportunity to tie pharmacy care to smarter selections on the food side of the store, and perhaps run education classes after hours? What else can they do in their stores to drive traffic and add comfort – perhaps money-wiring services, the hiring of Hispanic staff, and more?

The more specific and the more local the strategies that develop, the closer stores will be able to bond with Hispanics.