Latinos reshape the American palate

The Lempert Report
February 18, 2013

Retailers like the zest in food and beverage sales emanating from Hispanic influences in some categories.

Retailers like the zest in food and beverage sales emanating from Hispanic influences in some categories. Sales of some American classics have been overtaken, according to Packaged Facts. This could have families all over reinventing the backyard barbecue, we say. It would be just one example of the Latino recast of the American palate. According to a new study, Hispanic Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 5th Edition, by Packaged Facts, salsa rings up nearly twice the dollar sales of ketchup, and tortillas and taco kits outsell hamburgers and hot dog buns in the United States. A similar dynamic spreads across the supermarket. Here’s a sampler: • In the meat case, chuck is popular. • In produce, Hispanics are some of the most prolific purchasers. • In dairy, Hispanics consumed 15% of the nation’s milk, cheese and yogurt in 2010 (25.8 billion pounds), and are projected to consume 22% (41.1 billion pounds) in 2030 and 27% (58.9 billion pounds) in 2050, according to Understanding the Dairy Opportunity Among Hispanic Consumers, a 2010 study done by Dairy Management Inc. • Hispanics eat more eggs and non-toasted bread for breakfasts that are typically warmed, according to NPD group. • In deli, burritos, fajitas, and Latin-spiced rotisserie chickens, meats and cheeses are increasingly common—and appeal to all kinds of consumers. Trends like these propelled the U.S. market for Hispanic foods and beverages past $8 billion in 2012. Packaged Facts projects nearly $11 billion worth of demand by 2017, up 31% from today. Nearly three-quarters of all US consumers surveyed (73%) say they use Mexican food and ingredients—a figure that approaches usage rates of nearly 84% among Hispanics. Hispanics are key—because their population and buying power are rising fast, their households are younger and larger and they’re willing to spend more for food at home, notes a 2012 study by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies. Univision adds their 2 cents: “Hispanic food at home cumulative lifetime spending is over 50% higher than that of the general population, and Hispanic personal care cumulative lifetime spending is about 33% higher than that of the general population.” Their powerful influence is undeniable.