Revisiting The Major Minority

The Lempert Report
January 27, 2015

Who is this consumer base and how ‘major’ are they now?

This week in The Lempert Report, we’re celebrating our anniversary by highlighting some of the stories we wrote about in our first newsletter 30 years ago!
One of those stories was called “The Major Minority”. When we wrote this 30 years ago, food manufacturers had done little to attract the growing Hispanic customer base.  We noted that the Hispanic population was growing in leaps and bounds particularly in New York & New Jersey in the East, Miami in the South, California and Texas in the West, and manufacturers and retailers needed to keep up with this growing consumer. Safeway in California reported that its greatest growth was in Hispanic neighborhoods and some national food brands, such as Del Monte were beginning to offer their products with a Spanish twist. In that first edition, we reported that current estimates placed the US Hispanic population to be in excess of 20 million, about 10% of total US population.
Fast forward 30 years and the need to appeal to the Hispanic shopper is still a major talking point as this demographic continues to grow. In an article we wrote just this past December, we pointed out that recent data shows Hispanics will be a leading growth source for food retailers and brand marketers, primarily because of their robust spending on food and beverage, their high degree of brand loyalty, frequent cooking at home, and hefty forecasts for their U.S. population growth, several reports and studies have been release to help tap into an anticipated $1.5 trillion of Hispanic buying power by 2015.
One recent report called The Why Behind the Buy Hispanic  from AMG Strategic Advisors, made note of the importance of home cooking and mealtime being family time in Hispanic households, for example, 68% of Hispanics say over the past year they cook more often at home vs. 52% of the general population and 59% bring snacks/foods from home to work/school vs. 55% of the general population.
Just like the advice we gave 30 years ago, retailers who are not taking notice of this group are missing out on a lucrative group.