IRI: Tapping into enormous CPG spending power of Hispanic consumers in the US

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

©GettyImages/Ridofranz
©GettyImages/Ridofranz
The US Hispanic community spends more than $94.7bn on CPG products annually, making it the fastest-growing ethnic demographic which has key nuances and attitudes when it comes to food purchases, according to a new IRI report.

Despite the fact that Hispanic consumers will account for more than half the population growth by 2020, access to data and research of their consumer spending habits is hard to come by, according to Susan Viamari, vice president of thought leadership for IRI.

“This significantly limits new growth opportunities for brands,” ​Viamari said.

IRI’s research did a deep dive into the type of products Hispanic consumers (compared across four groups: English-speaking Hispanics, bilingual Hispanics, Spanish-speaking Hispanics and non-Hispanics) said they were most interested in buying.

IRI added that Hispanic buying power is concentrated in select markets, including New Mexico, Texas, California, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, New Jersey, New York and Illinois, and their interest in new products is spread across retail departments.

However, the results showed  that in many cases, new food items came out on top compared to other CPG categories such as beauty/personal care, home care, health care, and pet care.

For instance, among the shoppers who consider themselves “avid new product adopters”​ the highest percentages of interest among English-speaking Hispanics (26%) and bilingual Hispanics (29%) were in the food category.

Top selling food and beverage launches

Based on the most successful CPG launches in the 2017 New Product Pacesetters report​, IRI uncovered the top-selling food and beverage products for Hispanic consumers:

2017 New Product Pacesetters: Hispanic Top 10 Food and Beverage Brands
Dollars per Buyer Index: Hispanic vs. Non-Hispanic Consumers
(Average = 100)

1. Halo Top

93

2. Hillshire Snacking

117

3. Chobani Drinks

102

4. GOOD THiNS

111

5. Oscar Mayer Natural™

116

6. Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee

72

7. Cracker Barrel Macaroni & Cheese

143

8. Birds Eye Steamfresh Veggie Made

97

9. SMARTMADE™ by Smart Ones

119

10. POWERADE X ION4

83

Source: IRI Consumer and Shopper Insights Advantage/Hispanic Specialty Panel

What kind of shopping patterns can be observed from this list? According to IRI, the mix of healthy and indulgent product is quite revealing, while moderation is also important to many Hispanic shoppers.

For example, 36% of Hispanics say they eat healthy half of the time and eat whatever they want the other half. An additional 36% of Hispanic consumers say they eat healthy 80% of the time and allow for indulgences 20% of the time.

In addition, the top healthy eating considerations vary significantly across Hispanic sectors (English-speaking Hispanics, bilingual Hispanics, Spanish-speaking Hispanics and non-Hispanics):

Avoiding processed foods: 

58%, 54%, 31%, 56%

The right mix of different types of food:​   

44%,36%, 36%, 42%

Natural foods:​ 

30%, 41%, 24%, 23%

Organic foods:

20%, 19%, 40%, 15%

Include higher-calorie treats in moderation:  

10%, 6%, 21%, 11%

Source: IRI Consumer and Shopper Insights Advantage/Hispanic Specialty Panel

“Aligning a new product launch with the needs of Hispanic shoppers is rapidly becoming a critical success factor for sustained CPG and retail growth, so improved insights and activation of these shoppers can result in significant sales and market share uplift,”​ Staci Covkin, principal of consumer and shopper marketing for IRI, added.

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