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By Chris Campbell
As Hispanics become the fastest-growing ethnic group in the U.S., the demographic’s buying power grows, as well. In 2015, Hispanics made up 17.6% of the population, while the cohort’s buying power grew to $1.4 trillion the next year. By 2065, Hispanics will account for one quarter of the U.S. population, according to an IRI report, Hispanics and New Products.
When it comes to the new products that most appeal to Hispanic consumers, the food sector ranks first, followed by beverages and health/personal care items.
The top 10 largest markets for Hispanics include New Mexico at 33%, Texas at 22%, California at 20%, Florida and Arizona at 17%, Nevada at 16%, New Jersey and Colorado at 11%, New York at 10% and Illinois at 9%.
The Hispanic cohort spends more than $94 billion on consumer packaged goods per year. By language spoken, bilingual Hispanics make up 42% of the CPG market, with Spanish-speakers making up 31% and English-speaking Hispanics making up 27%. Hispanics spend $25 million on general food (which is 12.4% of overall spending in that category), $13.3 million on refrigerated food (12.3%),
$9.6 million on beverages (13.2%) and $6.5 million on frozen food (11.1%).
Hispanics show a strong interest in new products across departments. Bilingual Hispanics are most likely to find a new food or drink appealing, at 29% for food and 20% for drinks.
The top-selling food and beverage launches underscore an interest in solutions that balance nutrition and indulgence, and they come from all areas of the grocery store. The top product was Halo Top (which achieved an overall New Product Pacesetter score of 93; the average score was 100).
Hillshire Snacking was 2nd, with an overall score of 117; Chobani Drinks 3rd, at 102; Good Thins 4th, at 111; followed by Oscar Mayer Natural, at 116; Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee, at 72; Cracker Barrel Macaroni & Cheese, at 143; Birds Eye Steamfresh Veggie Made, at 97; Smartmade by Smart Ones, at 119; and Powerade X Ion, at 83.
For Hispanics, healthy eating is important, but moderation is key, as 36% of Hispanic consumers eat healthy 50% of the time and an equal percentage eats healthy 80% of the time.
Healthy eating considerations varied by the language spoken. Of the cohort, English-speaking Hispanics were most likely to avoid processed foods, at 58%, and were most likely to seek out the right mix of different types of food, at 44%. Bilingual Hispanics were most likely to find natural foods appealing, at 41%, compared to 23% of non-Hispanics. Spanish-speaking Hispanics were most likely to eat organic foods, at 40%, compared to 15% of non-Hispanics, and higher-calorie treats in moderation, at 21%, compared to 11% of non-Hispanics.
English-speaking Hispanics seek easy-to-understand ingredients and extra nutrients (40% of all consumers). But Spanish speakers are focused on added nutrients (36% of all consumers), natural/organic (36%), fat-free (20%) and dairy-free (16%).
Forty percent of Pacesetter brands that hit the mark with Hispanics tout more natural, organic, herbal or holistic attributes, whether they be food, beverage or health/personal care brands.
For the full story, go to this week’s Food Institute Report.