Why food retailers should market to Hispanics

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Why food retailers should market to Hispanics

By Gina Acosta - 12/12/2017

Hispanic grocery shoppers are more profitable than other U.S. food shoppers, according to new research from Acosta.

The 6th Edition of The Why? Behind The Buy U.S. Hispanic Shopper Study, an annual report released by Acosta, shows the buying patterns and behaviors of Hispanic shoppers in the U.S.

The study found that 72 percent of this demographic enjoys grocery shopping, compared to 61 percent of total U.S. shoppers — a difference that has widened by two percentage points compared to the year prior. 

"The Why? Behind The Buy U.S. Hispanic Shopper Studies have continued to show that Hispanic shoppers bring family members to the grocery store, and often, their companions are their children," said Marianne Quinlan-Sacksteder, Director of Insights, Acosta. "In fact, Hispanic children are more likely to influence grocery purchase decisions across many categories compared to children in total U.S. shopper households, creating opportunities for brands and retailers to speak to both parents and their kids."

The study highlights the variety of reasons these consumers are some of the most valuable grocery shoppers in the aisles:

Shopping with families in tow
Total U.S. grocery shoppers are more likely to shop alone, contrasted with Hispanic shoppers who often bring spouses, children, extended family or even friends with them to shop at the supermarket.

  • Seventy-nine percent of Hispanic shoppers shop with someone else, including a spouse (47 percent) or children (35 percent).
  • Hispanic shoppers with kids spend significantly more on monthly groceries (+$100) than Hispanic shoppers without kids.
  • Hispanic children are more likely to influence grocery purchase decisions in many categories, including cereal (30 percent), salty snacks (28 percent) and chocolate candy (24 percent), compared to kids in U.S. shopper households (18 percent, 15 percent and 18 percent, respectively).

Grocery shopping more often
Across grocery trip types, Hispanic shoppers make more monthly trips than total U.S. shoppers, including significantly more stock-up, fill-in and last-minute trip types.

  • In a typical month, Hispanic shoppers reported making an average of 3.1 stock-up trips at the grocery store, while total U.S. shoppers indicated averaging 2.7 stock-up trips.
  • Although most shoppers indicate that they are making about the same amount of routine grocery trips as last year, 16 percent of Hispanic shoppers and 20 percent of Hispanic shoppers with kids indicated they are making more routine grocery trips as compared to last year (versus only 12 percent of total U.S. shoppers making more routine trips).
  • Significantly more Hispanic shoppers than total U.S. shoppers agreed they enjoy the experience of shopping for ingredients to prepare the meals they have planned (61 percent versus 52 percent).

Exploring new products
Hispanic shoppers indicated that planning meals, grocery shopping and preparing meals are all enjoyable. They are also willing to change up their routines and try new foods and dishes.

  • Sixty-five percent of Hispanic shoppers enjoy preparing new dishes (versus 62 percent of total U.S. shoppers), and 61 percent enjoy the experience of planning meals for themselves or their households (versus 54 percent of total U.S. shoppers).
  • Fifty-five percent of Hispanic shoppers agreed they often try new flavors and products (versus 51 percent of total U.S. shoppers).
  • Forty-seven percent of Hispanic shoppers agreed, "I buy grocery brands that are authentic to my ethnic heritage" (versus 25 percent of total U.S. shoppers).

Engaging with digital grocery tools
Just as Hispanic shoppers show an interest in exploring new foods to eat, they are also using digital and online tools to facilitate their shopping experiences before, during and after their trips to the grocery store.

  • Forty-five percent of Hispanic shoppers agreed, "I am comfortable using digital/online tools to assist with grocery shopping."
  • Thirty-nine percent read their retailer's digital flyer/circular.
  • While only 54 percent of Hispanic shoppers reported having access to online grocery shopping solutions — compared to 61 percent of total U.S. shoppers — 65 percent of those who did have access indicated they have ordered grocery items online in the past year.

"Hispanic consumers are key drivers in the CPG and grocery retail categories. When marketing to them, it is essential for brands to understand the role family plays in the grocery shopping experience," said Liz Sanderson, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Insights, UCI. "Bringing a family member along, particularly children, is more than likely to influence Hispanic consumers' purchasing decision, helping to introduce new products, which translates to an exploration of new items."

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