Food retailers - and manufacturers - should grab the opportunities available to increase their share of the ethnic food market, said an expert at the Food Marketing Institute Show in Chicago, writes Philippa Nuttall.
Terry Soto president of Burbank, California based About Marketing Solutions, said at the show, which ended today, that food retailers have a "much, much bigger" opportunity to increase their share of the ethnic foods market.
Soto said that the ethnic foods market, including Hispanic, Asian, and African-American food and beverage products, currently generates about $75 billion in annual sales, which is equal to $1 out of every $7 spent on groceries. However, while foodservice is bringing in about 65 percent of those sales, retailers trail behind with 35 percent of the market.
Many nonethnic consumers are spending money on ethnic foods, prompted by increased exposure to these foods from local neighborhoods or international travel.
Between 2003 and 2004, more than 2,000 ethnic products were introduced, said Soto. Mainstream manufacturers are getting a slice of the market, too, she pointed out. Among the more successful ventures are McCormick's Gourmet Collection line of spices and seasonings, which includes Caribbean and many other ethnic blends, and Coca-Cola's addition of Hispanic beverages.
A report, released by the FMI at the show, showed that Hispanic families are the fastest growing consumer segment in the US with a purchasing power of $686 billion in 2004. This figure - according to the study entitled El Mercado 2004: A Perspective on U.S. Hispanic Shopping Behavior - is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2010