Multi-Cultural Shoppers Leading the Way

The Lempert Report
April 14, 2015

Calling all retailers! It's time to look to multicultural consumers to stay relevant!

According to a recently released Nielsen report, multicultural consumers are showing big power and are the fastest-growing segment of the country’s “consumer economy.”

The report, “The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers,” looked at the spending habits of African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanic consumers and found that aside from the approximate $3.4 trillion they’ve spent on mainstream products to date, the influence that multicultural consumers have on white consumers is notable

The report identifies multicultural Super Consumers, which refer to the top 10% of households who drive at least 30% of sales, 40% of growth and 50% of profits of any consumer product category. According to the report, these consumers have a disproportionate spending influence in the dairy, baby food and diapers, laundry supplies and detergents, school supplies, and other family-goods industries. 

So how can this information help supermarkets? The report suggest that if retailers want to figure out how consumer trends will play out over the next few years, it might be a good idea to get into the minds of the multicultural shoppers. According to the press release, “The report suggests that by understanding the cultural essence that drives multicultural super consumer behavior today, marketers and advertisers can better understand future market trends.”

With the consumer base becoming more and more multicultural, supermarkets need to change the norm. Multicultural consumers lean towards brands and products that reinforce their cultural roots, and this influences non-multicultural consumers, too. For example? Hot Sauce. Neilsen shows that while multicultural consumers represent 53 percent of hot sauce Super Consumers, the category has grown beyond it, becoming a mainstream condiment.

So, just as once upon a time sushi or tacos or other once- considered "ethnic foods" have become as common as apple pie and hot dogs, the traditions and shopping behaviors of multicultural consumers are influencing the market opportunity.