Hispanics now make up 16% of the US population and the US census suggests that the demographic could increase 34% from 2010 to 2020. NPD said that its NET (National Eating Trends) Hispanic study – which examined the eating habits of US Hispanics over the course of a year – found that this growing population, combined with specific dining traditions, has begun to influence overall US food preferences.
“There’s no doubt about it — Hispanics are a large and quickly growing group, and they will likely move the needle on national consumption trends over the next 10 years,” said NPD food and beverage industry analyst Darren Seifer. “Marketers who wish to stay ahead of this growth should invest in understanding not only U.S. Hispanics’ behaviors, but also the traditions they honor at the dining table.”
In particular, those from Hispanic households tend to eat eggs for breakfast more often than non-Hispanics, and also consume more non-toasted bread. Twelve percent of Hispanics’ breakfasts tended to include non-toasted bread, compared to just 2% of non-Hispanics’ breakfasts, but over the past decade, popularity of non-toasted bread has fallen overall, NPD said.
“This shift could bode well for bread makers and bakery departments, and they should make efforts to connect with Hispanics sooner rather than later,” said Seifer. “On the flip side, hot cereal marketers will need to appeal to this group in ways that differ from traditional efforts. For example, the warmth and convenience of hot cereal could be important aspects to highlight, as Hispanics are already consuming warm breakfasts at above average rates.”
In addition, the market researcher highlighted dinner side dishes as an area in which Hispanics have influenced the overall US population, with rice becoming more popular among the population as a whole, while all other major side dish categories have declined.