Hispanic consumers are spending a higher portion of their food budget on packaged foods, including processed, frozen and canned meals. Simultaneously, spending on fresh produce and meats by Hispanic consumers has declined, according to a recent report by Packaged Facts.
The Hispanic population's spending on food has grown more than 80 percent in the past decade, that's twice the rate of general consumer spending on food items. With the dispersal of Latinos into new areas of the country, the demographic represents a rapidly growing segment of the customer base for grocery stores.
The report, titled Hispanic Food Shoppers in the U.S., predicted that Hispanics shopping for food products will spend $86 billion in 2018. This number represents a cumulative growth of 28 percent and a compound annual growth of more than 5 percent.
There is a significant disparity in what types of foods different Hispanic demographics are looking for, and some food options chosen by Hispanic grocery shoppers reflect general American buying trends.
Hispanic food dollars have increasingly gone toward the usual center-of-the-store grocery items, but there are still many food items that Hispanics are still not picking up, such as peanut butter, pretzels and pickles. There are exceptions. Puerto Ricans and Mexicans, who have a longer history on the U.S. mainland, sometimes adopt typical American grocery shopping trends more than other Latino demographics.
The effect of Spanish-language marketing is also declining in potency, as just 36 percent of shoppers report paying more attention or remembering more about products advertised in Spanish.
In fact, a study conducted last year found that 71 percent of Hispanic women reported feeling more comfortable using English to surf the Internet and identify more with mainstream American culture.
Looking ahead, Packaged Facts foresees a continuing focus on healthy eating among the Hispanic population. As Hispanics born in the U.S. constitute an increasing portion of the domestic Latino demographic, spending on processed foods and packaged goods in the center of the store is projected to increase at a faster rate than food expenditures overall.
According to a study released last year, Hispanic customers are more likely to shop at convenience stores instead of groceries, or to supplement their grocery shopping.
-See this Packaged Facts press release
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