Tapping Hispanic influence in food and drink

Related tags Hispanic and latino americans

Hispanics are becoming an increasingly influential demographic in terms of growth in the food and beverage industry, according to data from the Latinum Network presented during a conference call on Wednesday.

The Latinum Network, which describes itself as a business network that aims to help brands tap into the growing Hispanic market, said that the US Hispanic population accounted for 50 percent of real growth from 2005 to 2008. In the food, beverage and restaurant industries – worth about $1 trillion – new spending among Hispanics offset about 84 percent of real decline in demand, it claims.

Market researchers have been saying for some time that changing US demographics bring opportunities for marketers to target different ethnic groups, which can have distinct trends in shopping habits. Last month, market research organization The Nielsen Company said it is predicted that half the US population will be non-white by 2050.

Currently, the African-American, Hispanic and Asian populations in the United States are responsible for about $299bn of CPG (consumer packaged goods) spending, and Nielsen estimates that this could rise by as much as 25 percent over the next 10 years, to $373bn in today’s money.

The Latinum Network says that most of this growth can be attributed to a growing number of Hispanic households, although it claims there has also been an increase in consumer spending among US Hispanics.

Co-founder and principal of Latinum Network David Wellisch said: "Clearly, US Hispanics represent a growing market in the midst of a mature US consumer economy, but in order to win over this important demo, brands must make an authentic appeal to the unique behaviors and tastes of US Hispanics through distinct products, channels, messaging and marketing strategies."

In particular, the company said preference for the Spanish language is still high, even as a growing number of Hispanics are becoming proficient in English; ethnic preference for beef kept sales among the demographic up, despite wider health concerns about red meat consumption impacting beef sales; and professional Hispanics are increasingly choosing frozen meals for their children.

Hispanics are also eating out more often than other groups and are driving fast-food breakfast growth, Latinum Network said.

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