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General Mills targets blacks and Hispanics with new marketing

By staff reporter , 07-Aug-2006

Leading food firm General Mills has launched two new multicultural marketing platforms in an effort to promote its products to African American and Latino consumers.

Announced today, the new initiatives specifically target women in these population groups, said the company.

 

"As demographics continue to shift, it's important that our marketing efforts appeal to the growing consumer segments," said Rudy Rodriguez, multicultural marketing director at General Mills.

 

According to the firm, the two platforms- Serving Up Soul and Que Rica Vida will provide consumers with "much-needed, relevant lifestyle information, expert advice and delicious, convenient recipes".

 

Indeed, these two segments of the population have grown significantly in recent years. There are currently around 13 million Hispanic households in the United States, while African-Americans make up 12 percent of the nation's total population, a figure expected to grow to nearly 17 percent by 2020.

 

Serving Up Soul, General Mills' African-American marketing initiative, aims to increase the relevance of the company's products among black women.

 

"This initiative is part of a multi-brand strategy that will enhance the company's affinity with African American consumers, leveraging brands such as Honey Nut Cheerios, Yoplait, Pillsbury and Pop Secret, and will provide consumers with original recipes from the Betty Crocker Kitchens," said the company in a statement.

 

Spokesperson for the campaign will be former-model-turned-restaurateur and lifestyle expert B. Smith, who will appear in a series of 10 radio advertisements and five mini-magazines inserted in Essence magazine.

 

According to statistics from General Mills, the 38 million African-Americans in the US have $723 billion in buying power, equal to the ninth-largest economy in the world.

 

The company's Hispanic marketing initiative- Que Rica Vida, which translates as 'what a rich and wonderful life'- targets Hispanic mothers through a new, free, Spanish-language magazine of the same name.

 

Published in conjunction with Miami-based Editorial Televisa, the largest magazine publishing house in the Spanish-speaking world, the new magazine will feature content devoted to education, meals and health and wellness.

 

Que Rica Vida will also contain recipes developed by the Betty Crocker Kitchens, coupons, expert tips on food preparation and nutrition as well as lifestyle articles. Almost 2 million copies of the magazine will be mailed to consumers and given away at store promotion events in leading Hispanic markets, said the company.

 

Indeed, Latino buying power is forecast to reach around $1 trillion by 2010.

 

According to estimates by Hispanic Telligence, the Hispanic purchasing power between 1994 and 2004 revealed a compound annual growth rate of 7.7 percent- nearly three times the 2.8 percent total US rate of disposable income.

 

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.

 

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