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    What Was Trending at Multicultural Retail 360 Summit

    Event celebrates new poly-ethnic focus.

    By Debby Garbato, Stagnito Business Information

    For example, Brookshire’s removed sweet Mexican bread from its packaging and placed it in self-serve cases. And it began offering beans in bulk.

    “It’s not just certain products they want, but the way they shop for them,” said Ivette Zavarce, multicultural marketing coordinator for the grocer.

    Outside of supermarkets, Sean Bunner, vice president of new business development at the Home Shopping Network (HSN), explained how the multi-billion interactive, multichannel retailer is using a Latina host, Ecuadorian Amy Bravo, to help gain Hispanics’ trust. Bravo came to the United States in 2000 at age 18, spoke only Spanish and was working in a sandwich shop. After being discovered by HSN, she worked as a model before becoming one of the show’s most popular hosts.

    “Being a host is hard,” said Bunner. “Most people who become hosts have been with HSN for years. But Amy did so well in six months that she got the attention of executive management — not just as a Latina, but as a host. It’s hard to gain the trust of Hispanics, but once you do, they stay.”

    HSN is already well entrenched in the African-American market with cosmetic supplier Carol’s Daughter and other brands that strongly resonate with blacks.


    As always, the Multicultural Retail 360 Summit featured an impressive roster of research experts.

    Eddie Yoon, principal of The Cambridge Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nielsen, and Guy Garcia, president of new mainstream initiatives at EthniFacts LLC, presented Nielsen data that uncovered some radical changes and nuances in U.S. demographics:

    • 381 different languages are spoken in the U.S.
    • One in six newlywed couples is interracial
    • 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day
    • 2012 was the first year that mortality exceeded births among the non-Hispanic, U.S.-born white population
    • Most of the white population’s growth is coming from white immigrants; Asian immigration is also high
    • One out of six blacks in the U.S. is an immigrant

    Yoon also talked about how demographics do not necessarily predict demand. With Korean TV dramas, for example, just 15 percent of viewers are Asian. And despite blacks’ love of football, more African-Americans watched “Empire” than they did the Super Bowl. “Advertisers could have spent a lot less and reached more blacks [by using “Empire”],” said Yoon.

    New data developments also came from the Center for Multicultural Science. By analyzing a first-time National Grocers Association study on independent supermarkets, the Center determined that 25 percent of sales ($32 billion) in this $131-billion channel are generated by retailers with a multicultural focus. (The study involved chains with sales of $2 million-plus).

    This information demonstrates how vast the multicultural market has become. According to Isabel Valdés, chairperson of the Center, the U.S. Hispanic market is as large as “one of the fifth or sixth largest economies in the world."

    By Debby Garbato, Stagnito Business Information
    • About Debby Garbato Debby Garbato is the content editor for Stagnito Business Information’s Multicultural Retail 360 conference and is a regular contributor to the company’s various publications. She has 25 years of experience as a retail business writer and research analyst.

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