51% of Mexican-​Americans Pay More for Healthy Products

Latinos, blacks and Asians wield significant spending power at independent grocery stores, according to a report from the Center for Multicultural Science. It reveals that those populations account for $44.2 billion, or approximately 34%, of the total annual spending at independent grocery outlets.

The study utilizes 2012 statistics from the National Grocers Association and also uses the association‰Ûªs definition of an independent grocer. That includes all privately owned or controlled grocery stores with annual sales of $2 million to $5 billion. That could include anything from a small mom-​and-​pop business to a larger company like Vallarta Supermarkets, which operates 45 locations in California.

Kevin Smith wrote in the article, "Study reveals strong spending power of ethnic populations," "Total retail sales at the nation‰Ûªs independent grocery stores hit $131 billion in 2012, according to the association. The Center for Multicultural Science utilized those numbers to create additional studies that break down spending among whites, Latinos, Asians and blacks. Whites accounted for $86.8 billion of the total. Latinos spent $22.8 billion, blacks spent $14.8 billion and Asians spent $6.6 billion."

Jake Beniflah, the center‰Ûªs executive director, said the study is important because it quantifies spending among the various ethnic groups and also provides information that food companies can use to better market to those demographics. The report estimates that most Latino retail data in the U.S. undercounts 20–60% of the purchases made by Latino consumers.

‰ÛÏIf you look at the population trends with Hispanics it‰Ûªs really going to change everything,‰Û Phil Lempert, a Santa Monica-​based analyst on marketing trends and consumer behavior said. ‰ÛÏThe way they shop and buy food is very different from Anglos. They have larger families and are buying larger portions. And they are eating at home more often.‰Û

"Groceries account for the largest portion of retail spending among all of the groups," Smith wrote. "For whites that‰Ûªs 73%. For Latinos it‰Ûªs 79%, for blacks it‰Ûªs 71% and for Asians it‰Ûªs 81%. The second-​highest spending category for whites, Latinos and blacks is drugs, beauty aids and cosmetics. For Asians it‰Ûªs packaged wine and liquor."

Lempert said Latino and Asian foods, in particular, are gaining a stronger foothold in U.S. grocery stores.

‰ÛÏIt‰Ûªs the same thing that happened with Italian food,‰Û he said. ‰ÛÏAs we get more sophisticated with our palates ‰ÛÓ whether that‰Ûªs through new recipes or the Food Network ‰ÛÓ we want to be more adventurous. At the other end, you have aging baby boomers. When you get older you begin to lose your sense of taste, so people want spicier food.‰Û

Try getting your local markets and grocers to target the 7.4% of Mexican-​Americans who could be shopping in their aisles. Maybe they'll be intrigued by this AudienceSCAN stat: 51% of Mexican-​Americans are willing to pay more for healthy, organic or locally grown food products. 54% of these consumers prefer to shop at small, family-​owned or independently owned businesses when price and product quality are similar. 60.5% took action from sponsored search results (like on Google, Yahoo or Bing) in the past year.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.