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    A Fresh Look at the Hispanic Opportunity

    The average Hispanic shopper spends $452 more per year on food.

    By Melissa Kress, Convenience Store News

    NEW YORK — With $1.3 trillion in spending power — and growing — Hispanic consumers are a vital component to retail success. But it takes more than stocking shelves with Latino-inspired products to keep them coming back for more; retailers and marketers must get adept at spotting and leveraging opportunities.

    While retailers and marketers tend to place all Hispanic consumers into one bucket, they are not a homogenous group of shoppers, explained Sherry Frey, vice president of the Nielsen Perishables Group. For example, 65 percent of U.S. Hispanics are of Mexican heritage, 9 percent are of Puerto Rican heritage and 4 percent are of Cuban heritage.

    In addition, 64 percent of Hispanics in this country are U.S. born, and 75 percent of those consumers are younger than 35 years old. Notably with this Millennial segment, "they are ambicultural and proud of it," she explained. "At Nielsen, we call this the 200-percent population. They are 100-percent American and 100-percent Hispanic." 

    Frey's insights came Tuesday afternoon during a Nielsen webinar entitled "Fresh Foods Are CPG's Gateway to the Hispanic Opportunity."

    The U.S. Hispanic population growth is projected to outpace other ethnic groups over the next 40 years. Nielsen puts the growth rate between 2010 and 2050 at a whopping 168 percent. The increase is not only being seen in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. It's occurring in all areas of the country, with Charlotte, N.C., being the market with the fastest-growing Hispanic population. Also seeing a notable increase are markets like Seattle, Minneapolis, Denver and Raleigh, N.C.

    Frey points to this population map to drive home a key takeaway for all retailers: You don't need to be in major cities like New York and Miami to see the Hispanic opportunity.

    "Hispanic consumers and their influence are all across the United States," she said. 

    While all these statistics are important to grasp the power behind the Hispanic consumer, food retailers should especially take note of this: Hispanics allocate more money to food, and more to food to take and prepare at home.

    "This is a great opportunity for the grocery industry," Frey added.

    By Melissa Kress, Convenience Store News
    • About Melissa Kress Melissa Kress joined EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News and Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner in November 2010. Her primary beats include alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Kress has been a professional journalist since 1995. A graduate of West Virginia University, she began her career in community journalism before moving to business-to-business publishing in 2000, covering commercial real estate.

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