Spending by Hispanic consumers for food at grocery and other food stores has grown more than 80% over the past decade, more than twice the growth rate registered by consumers on average. Hispanic consumers have long been a key element in the growth strategies of food marketers. With the continuing dispersal of Latinos into areas not traditionally known for substantial Hispanic populations, Hispanic food shoppers represent a rapidly growing segment of the customer base of grocers throughout the country.
Hispanic food shoppers offer a rich but potentially bewildering opportunity for food marketers and retailers. In Los Angeles, for example, stocking the shelves for the Hispanic food shopper means understanding the preferences and traditions of shoppers who are mainly Mexicans but also include a substantial population of Salvadorans and Guatemalans. In Miami food stores need to satisfy the expectations of Cubans, Colombians, Venezuelans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans. In New York they need to cater to Puerto Ricans and Dominicans along with shoppers from a wide variety of other countries in Central and South America.
Hispanic Food Shoppers in the U.S. offers critical insights into what food marketers and grocers can do to attract and retain the loyalty of Hispanic food shoppers. One key issue addressed by the report is whether new generations of U.S.-born Latinos have already changed the ground rules for connecting with Hispanic consumers through Spanish-language media and advertisements that appeal to their Latino heritage. Another thread running throughout the report demonstrates how the national heritage of Hispanic shoppers affects what they buyand don't buyin food stores. The report also takes an in-depth look at how the diet, culinary preferences, shopping patterns and buying habits of Hispanic food shoppers create significant opportunities for marketers and retailers. Scope of the Report
Hispanic food shoppers are defined as Hispanic respondents to Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS) who report that they shopped at any supermarket or food store within the past four weeks. Hispanic food shoppers number 31.6 million and represent 88% of the total population of Hispanic adults.
The report uses the terms Hispanic and Latino interchangeably. According to a 2012 report by Washington, D.C.-based Pew Hispanic Research Center (When Labels Don't Fit: Hispanics and Their Views of Identity,) 51% of those self-identifying as Hispanic or Latino have no preference for either term. Those expressing a preference choose Hispanic over Latino by 33% to 14%.
However, it is important to note that neither term fully captures how Hispanics see themselves. A majority (51%) of respondents to the Pew survey said they most often use their family's country of origin to identify themselves (for example, Mexican or Dominican). Only 24% use either Hispanic or Latino most often, while 21% use the term American to identify themselves.