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IRI Examines Purchasing Habits of U.S. Hispanic Shoppers
Illinois Ag Connection - 06/12/2018

The Hispanic community is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the nation and spends more than $94.7 billion on CPG products annually. Because Hispanics are one of the most sought-after ethnic groups in the retail grocery market, IRI is diving deeper into last year's most successful CPG launches to better understand Hispanics and New Product Pacesetters. CPG marketers have a great opportunity to capture more shopping dollars from Hispanic consumers, especially if they understand some key nuances in their attitudes and preferences regarding new products, compared to those of the general consumer population.

"By 2020, Hispanics will account for over half of the population growth in the United States, and their spending power will also increase significantly," said Susan Viamari, vice president of Thought Leadership for IRI. "Unfortunately, most marketers don't have easy access to detailed information on what Hispanic shoppers are buying, including in key CPG categories. This significantly limits new growth opportunities for brands, so we examined what Hispanics are buying, and even why they are buying products, to help marketers engage with these very important consumers."

While Hispanic buying power is concentrated in select markets, including New Mexico, Texas, California, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, New Jersey, New York and Illinois, their interest in new products is spread across retail departments. Among those consumers who consider themselves avid new product adopters, there is a particular interest in the following departments (English-speaking Hispanics, bilingual Hispanics, Spanish-speaking Hispanics and non-Hispanics):

Food: 26%, 29%, 25%, 23%

Beverage: 19%, 20%, 13%, 16%

Beauty/Personal Care: 19%, 24%, 29%, 12%

Home Care: 13%, 20%, 29%, 11%

Health Care: 10%, 13%, 20%, 9%

Pet Care: 9%, 8%, 9%, 6%

Based on the most successful CPG launches in the 2017 New Product Pacesetters report, IRI uncovered the top-selling food and beverage products for Hispanic consumers (Dollars per Buyer Index: Hispanic vs. Non-Hispanic Consumers -- Average = 100):

1. Halo Top 93

2. Hillshire Snacking 117

3. Chobani Drinks 102

4. GOOD THiNS 111

5. Oscar Mayer Natural 116

6. Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee 72

7. Cracker Barrel Macaroni & Cheese 143

8. Birds Eye Steamfresh Veggie Made 97

9. SMARTMADE by Smart Ones 119


The mix of healthy and indulgent products found in the top-10 ranking truly reflects Hispanics' attitudes toward eating. For instance, 36 percent of Hispanics say they eat healthy half of the time and eat whatever they want the other half. An additional 36 percent of Hispanic consumers say they eat healthy 80 percent of the time and allow for indulgences 20 percent of the time. So, moderation is the key for most Hispanics.

The top healthy eating considerations vary significantly across Hispanic sectors (English-speaking Hispanics, bilingual Hispanics, Spanish-speaking Hispanics and non-Hispanics):

Avoiding processed foods: 58%, 54%, 31%, 56%

The right mix of different types of food: 44%, 36%, 36%, 42%

Natural foods: 30%, 41%, 24%, 23%

Organic foods: 20%, 19%, 40%, 15%

Include higher-calorie treats in moderation: 10%, 6%, 21%, 11%

Forty percent of Pacesetter brands that hit the mark with Hispanics tout "more natural," "organic," "herbal," or "holistic" attributes, which also helped shape the top-10 non-food ranking (Dollars per Buyer Index: Hispanic vs. Non-Hispanic Consumers -- Average = 100)

1. Fancy Feast Medleys 149

2. Garnier Whole Blends 104

3. Carol's Daughter 164

4. Herbal Essences Bio:Renew 100

5. Copper Chef 95

6. GLISS Hair Repair 96

7. Dove Nutritive Solutions 116

8. Dentalife 87

9. Red Copper 105

10. OxiClean HD 140

Hispanics are looking for new non-food products that provide new health benefits and faster results. Key considerations for new products include (English-speaking Hispanics, bilingual Hispanics, Spanish-speaking Hispanics and non-Hispanics):

Offers longer-lasting relief compared to existing alternatives: 31%, 28%, 32%, 32%

Offers faster relief than existing products: 30%, 25%, 14%, 30%

Treats multiple symptoms: 32%, 33%, 29%, 27%

Appeals to many people in my household: 27%, 28%, 25%, 21%

Offers new health benefits: 26%, 28%, 35%, 21%

"Hispanics are a highly diverse group, based on factors such as age, income, media preferences and language preference -- English-preferred, bilingual or Spanish-preferred," said Staci Covkin, principal of Consumer and Shopper Marketing for IRI. "Attracting Hispanics requires an understanding of these language preferences, along with their digital and social preferences, to quickly see a huge opportunity for CPG across food, beauty, home and health care brands. Aligning a new product launch with the needs of Hispanic shoppers is rapidly becoming a critical success factor for sustained CPG and retail growth, so improved insights and activation of these shoppers can result in significant sales and market share uplift."

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