Food manufacturers looking to target the rapidly growing US Hispanic market need to recognize its broad diversity, says a new report from market research organization SymphonyIRI.
The researcher says that while valuable insights can be gained from focusing on the US Hispanic market as a whole – such as a greater preference for club and mass merchandise outlets, and higher purchase rates of juices and gum compared to non-Hispanics – it is critical to examine the diversity within this large demographic, which has a purchasing power expected to hit $1.3trn in 2012, and a growth rate that is more than twice the national average.
In its new ‘point of view’ report, titled “Diverse and Distinct: The Hispanic Population Delivers Numerous Segments and Opportunities—and an Exceptionally Fast-Growing Market”, the market research organization says there are several key areas that differentiate subsets of the US Hispanic population.
“Treating this prolific population as a homogenous group would not only do the group a huge injustice, but also have a major negative impact on CPG marketing campaigns and market potential,” the report said. “To protect and grow share across this powerful and growing demographic, it is critical to recognize and respond to the broad diversity within the Hispanic population.”
Firstly, the degree to which Hispanic consumers are acculturated affects their shopping preferences, including brand loyalty, and influencers of purchase, such as children and media, the researchers said.
“Because acculturated Hispanic consumers tend to have a lot in common with the general population, the intriguing and imperative features of the bicultural and unacculturated community demand the most attention,” according to the report.
Some of the defining factors among unacculturated Hispanics include a greater focus on family, health and nutrition, and more home cooking. Reaching many of these consumers may start with Spanish-language signage and marketing as they become acculturated, and with more than three-quarters of unacculturated Hispanics always buying the same brands, the report said that “investing the time, money and effort necessary to break into the Hispanic shopping basket (and pantry) often will provide long-standing rewards for attentive CPG marketers.”
Countries of origin, ages, and lifestages may also be important factors to bear in mind when marketing to Hispanic consumers, it said.
“Analyzing and interpreting sub-segments of this group is imperative as the diversity is great, as is the potential for long-lasting relationships.”
The report is available to download here .