Today’s Hispanic Consumer

When targeting the multicultural market, race and ethnicity are becoming less important than education, income, home ownership, age and lifestyles.  Hispanics, African-Americans and Asian-Americans are moving to middle-class suburbs and prosperous neighborhoods, and are identified more by their lifestyles and spending habits than by their ancestry.

Today's Hispanic Consumer - Hispanic Marketing Basics

Today’s Hispanic Consumer – Hispanic Marketing Basics

The composition of the Hispanic population is shifting.  Hispanics now account for 13.7% of the total population.  The “new dynamics” of the Hispanic market hinge on the emerging second and third generations, native- and foreign-born differences, and broad geographic growth.

According to a Census Bureau report released in June 2004, an estimated 39.8 million Latinos live in the U.S., an increase of almost 13% since the 2000 Census. It projects Hispanics will increase their ranks by 188% to 102.6 million—or roughly one-quarter of the population—by 2050.  Hispanics will count for nearly one out of every five U.S. residents by 2012 if current growth rates continue.

The Hispanic Consumer now constitutes the largest minority group in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, comprising 13 percent of the population, or 39 million people. Moreover, their buying power has nearly tripled, from $222 billion in 1990 to $653 billion in 2003, according to a University of Georgia report.

The spending power of the U.S. Hispanic Consumer is also increasing.  The median income of Hispanic households rose 20 percent from $27,977 to $33,565 between 1996 and 2001, while the median for all U.S. households climbed just 6 percent.

“Whether a Latino household wants to buy a lawn mower has less to do with their ethnicity than if they happen to be homeowners,” says Michael Mancini of Claritas. The two great forces, age and diversity, have rendered the traditional marketing categories irrelevant in many cases.

One of the most common mistakes advertising executives make when marketing to a Hispanic consumer is assuming that the U.S. Hispanic population is homogeneous.
Source: TIA

Hispanic Consumer Shopping Behavior Insights

As National Hispanic Heritage Month is underway to recognize the impact of Hispanic culture in the United States, the Nielsen Company provides insight into the shopping behavior of Hispanic consumers, a collective buying power of nearly $1 trillion.

Hispanic Consumer Shopping Behavior Insights

Hispanic Consumer Shopping Behavior Insights

“It is critical for retailers and marketers to understand the wide range of factors driving Hispanic consumers’ shopping behavior,” said Tim Kregor, president, Nielsen Consumer Panel Services. “By understanding what Hispanic consumers are buying, where they’re buying it, how they’re buying it and why, retailers and marketers can adapt product offerings and promotions to ultimately better satisfy this rapidly growing and diverse consumer segment.”

Hispanic Consumer Shopping Behavior Insights on Brand Loyalty

Nielsen Homescan research across multiple product categories shows that as Hispanics become more acculturated, there is less evidence of brand loyalty. For example, select brand/flavors of carbonated soft drinks shows that 33 percent of English language-only/preferred Hispanics met their needs with a particular cola, while nearly 70 percent of Spanish language-preferred homes fulfilled their carbonated beverage requirements with the identical brand. Similar trends were noted for other categories, such as laundry detergent, cereal, toothpaste and beer. In this example, language serves as the primary measure of determining acculturation level, which influences Hispanic consumers’ brand loyalty and shopping habits.

“When it comes to brand loyalty and the Hispanic consumer, the key learning for marketers is understanding the importance of building a brand relationship during the initial stages of acculturation and maintaining this connection as Hispanics’ integration to American life increases,” said Kregor.

Hispanic Consumer Shopping Behavior Insights: A Touch of Home

Nielsen finds there is a preference among Hispanics to shop at stores that resonate with the sights, sounds, smells and sensibilities of their homeland. This sense of nostalgia helps create an important connection with the Hispanic consumer. Retailers can create a familiar sense of community and comfort zone for consumers through product assortment, importing specialty lines and stocking items with bilingual packaging, hiring bilingual employees, posting bilingual signage and distributing bilingual coupons.

Hispanic Consumer Shopping Behavior Insights: Shopping a Family Affair

For Hispanic consumers, shopping can be a family affair, an outing for all ages from abuelos (grandparents) to ninos (children). Retailers wanting to attract the attention of the Hispanic consumer would benefit from creating a family-friendly atmosphere, such as balloons and providing rest areas for seniors. And, while respect is a fundamental of customer relations across the board, there is a certain reverence extended to elders within the Hispanic culture that should be reflected in staff dealings with older shoppers. “This can be as simple as offering an arm to an unsteady patron navigating the aisle, or selecting hard-to-reach items for their cart.”

Hispanic Consumer Shopping Behavior Insights: Staying Connected

In addition to maintaining tight-knit family units and neighborhoods, many Hispanics make a concerted effort to keep in touch with those living in their homelands. According to Scarborough Research, a service of The Nielsen Company, Hispanics of all language preference are heavy users of phone service, 95 percent more likely than the average consumer to have spent $100 on long distance, and 18 percent more likely to have rung up a cell phone bill of $150 or more during the last month. Searching for a more favorable deal, Hispanic consumers are more likely to plan on switching cellular providers during the next year, and 11 percent more likely to use a prepaid cellular plan.

When it comes to Internet purchases, Scarborough Research finds that roughly 25 percent of Hispanic Internet users purchased airline tickets, books and clothing/accessories online in the past year, with six percent spending more than $2,500 online during that time.

Hispanic Consumer Shopping Behavior Insights: Media Views

Between 2000 and 2007, Nielsen Media Research estimates the number of Hispanic TV households expanded by one-third, from 8.7 million to 11.6 million. Concurrently, all demographic groups decreased slightly for Hispanics, except adults ages 18 and up, which increased slightly. While cable and pay cable gained popularity among Hispanic viewers, VCR ownership slipped.

TV usage habits parallel that of the average household, with Hispanic homes tuning in 58 hours and 39 seconds per week, slightly more than the 57 hours and 39 seconds of the composite finding. Hispanics scored lower on viewing per TV households as well, for every measure except children ages 2 – 11, who watched a mere one minute more than the composite result per week.
Source: Hispanic PR Wire

Hispanic Travel Market

Hispanic Travel Market

Hispanic Travel Market

Hispanic travel increased by 20 percent from 2000-2002, outpacing other minorities and growing 10 times the overall rate for the traveling population as a whole.  As the Hispanic population grows, so does their amount of travel. They are taking more trips, spending more money.  Airlines, hotels, convention and visitor bureaus have all caught on and are starting to work to attract Hispanic consumers. Hispanics are interested in learning more about other cultures and have money to spend. While before, they may have traveled closer home and taken more low-key vacations, today they seem to be traveling more and farther to explore and broaden their horizons.
• Hispanic travel volume was up 20 percent from 2000 to 2002 (increasing from 64.1 million to 77.1 million person-trips), much higher than the two percent growth of travelers overall

• A majority of Hispanic person-trips are for leisure (77%), of which visiting friends or relatives is the ultimate goal for many (43%)

• Entertainment trips (16%) and outdoor recreation (8%) make up smaller shares of Hispanic person-trips

Hispanic Travel Market Research

Hispanic Travel Market Research

• The states that attract the greatest number of Hispanic travelers include California, Texas and Florida. Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico are also popular destinations

• Hispanic households spend an average of $480 on a trip, excluding spending on transportation to their destination

• One third (33%) of trips by Hispanic households include children under 18 years old, significantly higher than for overall traveling households in the U.S. (24%)

Source: TIA

Watch Out! Hispanics Rate Products Significantly Higher

I find it interesting that some market research agencies recently discovered what Hispanic marketers have known for quite some time. Give Hispanics a product to be rated, and you will get much better marks than with non-Hispanics. Ask them to tell you what is wrong with it, and you may end up getting a list longer than a mile! That is the reason many good Hispanic Market research specialists will add open-ended questions to help qualify the close-ended ones or take different approaches to research altogether.

Why the contradiction? It’s in the culture. Read more about it in the following article:

Results Could Have a Significant Effect on the Products Targeted to Hispanics in the Future.

Hispanics, especially those who are more recent arrivals, give higher ratings in product surveys than their non-Hispanic counterparts, according to a study designed by Jeffry Savitz, President of Savitz Research Companies and Professor of Marketing Research at the University of North Texas. The study found that Hispanics rate products significantly higher than what they may actually feel. In the study, Hispanics and non-Hispanics were asked to assign a numeric value to five rating labels using a scale of 0-100 with 100 being the best. The rating labels, “Excellent,” “Very good,” “Good,” “Neither Good nor Poor” and “Poor” are common in survey research. Hispanics consistently gave higher marks than their non-Hispanic counterparts to each label except “poor.” The average difference was 5.9 making it statistically significant.

In this landmark study, Professor Jeffry Savitz a graduate of Columbia University, found that Hispanics rated Tylenol 85.7, significantly higher than non-Hispanics at 80.6 implying Hispanics favor the brand. However, after the adjustment of 5.9 points, the ratings were at parity. Among cellular providers, ratings of Verizon, 65.4 and 68.1, were similar. After the adjustment was applied, however, the ratings indicated that Hispanics do not like this provider nearly as much, 59.5 versus 68.1. In the soft drink category, Hispanics rated Fanta 80.0 versus non-Hispanics at 57.6, a highly significant difference. Even after the adjustment the result was still significant implying Hispanics are more favorable toward Fanta.

Hispanics Rate Products Significantly Higher than non-Hispanics

The results of the study have significant implications on multicultural advertising and marketing as well as which products and services should be offered to Hispanics. “This study finally sheds light on the reason some Hispanic research ends up with faulty conclusions or results. This ‘cultural lift’ must be taken into account,” says Juan Faura, author of two books on Hispanic marketing. “Hispanics are taught from an early age that it is in poor taste or inappropriate to openly criticize or berate when asked their opinions.” Savitz says, “The article discusses levels of acculturation, consumption of Hispanic media and country of origin, but more research is needed to measure the effect of the ‘cultural lift’ on various categories and other factors.”

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Source: Savitz Research Companies

Emerging U.S. Hispanic Market Brimming with Opportunity

The rapid expansion of Hispanics into American suburbs presents sizable opportunities for marketers who understand the rich cultural diversity and purchasing attitudes of this segment, according to the latest Consumer Dynamics study from Acxiom® Corporation.

The study, titled “Getting Into the Market Share Race With the Emerging Hispburbanite Market,” taps into the explosive growth centered in 10 markets.

Emerging U.S. Hispanic Market:

  • Charlotte, NC
  • Nashville-Davidson, TN
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Memphis, TN
  • Greensboro, NC
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Aurora, CO

The study reveals:

  • Hispanic suburban expansion is projected to continue.
  • The Hispanic market encompasses four distinct Hispburbanite groups.
  • Marketers have above average growth opportunities in areas with high concentrations of Hispanics.
  • Marketers should segment this culturally diverse group for maximum marketing impact.

The study shows Hispburbanites differ from Hispanics living in the main port-of-entry cities of New York, Los Angeles and Miami as they tend to be younger, more acculturated, single and wealthier. They tend to fall into four distinct groups:

  • Upstarts and Upbringing – Made up of some of the younger Hispanic households, this is the most acculturated of all groups. They primarily speak English away from home and are a mix of singles and recently married couples, some with young children.
  • Trendy Traditions – A somewhat younger mix, this group is mostly single and childless. Though slightly less acculturated than Upstarts and Upbringing, this group prefers American name brands and brand-name bargains.
  • Recent Arrivals –The least acculturated of all groups, these households more frequently comprise immigrants who have resided less than 10 years in the United States. They prefer to speak Spanish at home and away, and are primarily single renters with low to middle incomes.
  • White Picket Fences – A married and single mix of adults with above-average income makes up this group. Often owning their own homes, these households are more comfortable with financial institutions than other groups and are building net worth. This group is primarily English speaking and while they do save, their incomes allow for plentiful shopping, especially for jewelry and business clothing.

Overall, Hispburbanites tend to be mostly second- and third-generation Hispanics with increasing consumer buying power. “This market represents tremendous opportunity for companies across industries,” said the Acxiom’s senior manager for analytic, geospatial and segmentation products. “Segmentation allows marketers to target initiatives that encompass cultural preferences based on the characteristics of the defined consumer groups.

“Intelligent marketing decisions will maximize results, greatly improving return on marketing dollars spent,”  he added. “At a time when marketers are under intense scrutiny to produce measurable results, this study provides invaluable consumer insights.”

Source: Acxiom

Bilingual Hispanics Media Use

When Hispanics turn on their televisions over half of them are tuning into an English language show. Read how Bilingual Hispanics live with ease in both worlds.

According to a recent Ipsos U.S. Hispanic Omnibus study, U.S. Hispanics, regardless of whether their language preference at home is English (43%), or Spanish (52%), are turning to either language to meet their needs. When Hispanics turn on their televisions over half of them are tuning into an English language program.

Younger viewers are not the dominating presence in front of the English language small screen. Hispanics, aged 18-34, are actually less likely (54%) than older Hispanics, aged 55+, to prefer English language television (61%). And:

  • 52% of Hispanics aged 35-54  prefer English language television.
  • 45% percent of Hispanics with children in the household say that they prefer Spanish language television.
  • 63% of Hispanic households without children are highly likely to prefer English television
  • 80% of College educated Hispanics prefer English language television

Mixing languages does not complicate the lives of United States Bilingual Hispanics who are living with ease in both worlds – one that is in English and the other that is in Spanish, concludes the report.

The person playing that Spanish beats music on radio is most likely to be a Hispanic female (51%), as they are more likely than Hispanic males (38%) to tune into Spanish radio. Among radio preferences overall, Hispanics are practically split as 49% stated that they listen to English language radio while 45% percent listen to Spanish language radio.

  • Hispanics aged 55+ are more likely to prefer radio in English than in Spanish (56% vs. 38%)
  • Among those 35-54, half (50%) prefer radio in English.
  • Hispanics, aged 18-34, are practically split among preference as 46% prefer English and 47% prefer Spanish radio.
  • 55% of all Hispanics said that their language preference for the Internet is English.
  • 39% of Hispanics age 18-34 prefer Spanish language internet sites
  • 42% of Hispanic females prefer Spanish when surfing the web compared to just twenty nine percent (29%) of Hispanic men

53% of Hispanics read the news and they are looking for information in both languages:

  • 53% in English to find out the current affairs in their local U.S. city
  • 33% in Spanish to follow up with the news in their home country
  • 44% read Spanish newspapers that cover news in their community in the United States. 57%, with an annual household income under $50,000, do so

Cynthia Pelayo, Ipsos senior research manager, says “… many US Hispanics continue to speak primarily Spanish, among their peers, family and friends, to watch television in Spanish and to be involved in cultural community events that are mostly conducted in Spanish.”

She goes on to note that their innate skill to utilize either language is an advantage in functioning in US institutions while preserving their Hispanic heritage.

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With a sample of this size, notes the report, the results are considered accurate within ± 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population adult homeowners in the U.S. been polled. These data were weighted to ensure the sample’s regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Source: Jack Loechner –

Consumer purchases are influenced by Product Placement, Sampling, and Word-of-Mouth

Consumer purchases are influenced by Product Placement, Sampling, and Word-of-Mouth Collectively and this varies by product category and consumer group.

Product Placement, Sampling, and Word-of-Mouth Collectively Influence Consumer Purchases

According to BIGresearch’s Simultaneous Media Survey (SIMM12), the effectiveness of product placements* varies by product category and consumer group. Consumers indicate product placements have the most influence on their grocery purchases with 14.8% saying so, up from 13.0% one year ago. Electronics and apparel round out the top three categories most influenced by product placements.

As marketers search for ways to increase marketing ROI, product placements are a viable option, says the report, particularly when targeting specific ethnic groups. African American, Hispanic and Asian consumers are more likely to be influenced to buy electronics, grocery and apparel from product placements*.

Influence of Product Placement On Purchases by Product Category & Ethnic Group (% of Respondents)

  • All
  • Grocery
  • Electronics
  • Apparel
  • Home Improvement
  • Eating Out
  • All
  • 14.8%
  • 13.2%
  • 11.5%
  • 7.9%
  • 7.6%
  • White / Caucasian
  • 14.6%
  • 11.5%
  • 10.4%
  • 7.1%
  • 6.8%
  • African American
  • 16.9%
  • 20.2%
  • 15.0%
  • 11.2%
  • 10.3%
  • Asian
  • 15.3%
  • 18.0%
  • 17.0%
  • 10.2%
  • 10.0%
  • Hispanic
  • 16.7%
  • 18.3%
  • 16.9%
  • 9.9%
  • 10.3%

Source: BIGresearch, October 2008

Gary Drenik, President & CEO of BIGreserch, concludes “Though the use of product placements is growing… today’s savvy consumers… recognize when advertisers are trying to manipulate them… when executed effectively, product placements can… create highly influential word of mouth among specific consumer groups.”

45.8% of Caucasian, and 44.0% of Asian consumers, indicate their purchases are influenced by word of mouth**. 41.1% of African American consumers say the same when it comes to grocery. Dining out purchases appear to be most affected by word of mouth**.

Influence of Word of Mouth On Purchases by Product Category & Ethnic Group (% of Respondents)

  • All
  • Eating Out
  • Electronics
  • Grocery
  • Home Improvement
  • Apparel
  • All
  • 52.9%
  • 44.4%
  • 40.7%
  • 35.2%
  • 34.3%
  • White /Caucasian
  • 56.2%
  • 45.8%
  • 41.5%
  • 37.2%
  • 33.3%
  • African American
  • 45.8%
  • 42.2%
  • 41.1%
  • 29.3%
  • 38.6%
  • Asian
  • 43.5%
  • 44.0%
  • 37.0%
  • 31.8%
  • 37.2%
  • Hispanic
  • 44.1%
  • 40.6%
  • 39.1%
  • 31.6%
  • 37.5%

Source: BIGresearch SIMM12, October 2008

And, while placement and word of mouth** impact future purchases, sampling*** can create an almost immediate impulse purchase. According to the Product Sampling Study by Arbitron, sampling successfully reaches 70 million consumers every quarter, and one-third of customers who try a sample will buy the sampled product in the same shopping trip, and 58% of those surveyed reported that they would buy the product again.

In the study, consumers were grouped into three categories:

  • “Acquisitions” are those who were new to the sampled product
  • “Conversions” are those who had heard of the product but had never bought it
  • “Retentions” are those who had previously purchased the product

Consumer Purchases are Influenced by Key Factors

While 85% of the Retentions and 60% of the Conversions said they would purchase the sampled product in the future, sampled products encouraged 47% of the Acquisitions, those who had never heard of the product before, to purchase the product again.

Carol Edwards, Senior Vice President, Sales, Out-of-Home Media, says “… this study enforced that the sampling approach is both effective in making new customers aware of products, while also establishing a firmer identity with those consumers who have considered the product before.”

Highlights of the study:

  • 28% of those surveyed reported that they have been offered product samples within the past three months
  • 64% of those surveyed claimed they had accepted product samples. 66% of the customers characterized as Acquisitions accepted samples, as well as 63% of the Conversions, and 63% of the Retentions
  • 35% of those surveyed claimed they purchased the sampled product on the same day. 26% of the Acquisitions bought the product right away, as well as 19% of the Conversions, and 31% of the Retentions
  • 24% of those surveyed claimed that a sampled product had specifically replaced an item that they had planned on buying. 20% of the Acquisitions were planning to make the switch, as well as 33% of the Conversions, and 18% of the Retentions.

* Product placement, or embedded marketing, is a form of advertisement, where branded goods or services are placed in a context usually devoid of ads, such as movies, the story line of television shows, or news programs. The product placement is often not disclosed at the time that the good or service is featured. Product placement became common in the 1980s.

** Word of mouth is a reference to the passing of information from person to person. Originally the term referred specifically to oral communication (literally words from the mouth), but now includes any type of human communication, such as face to face, telephone, email, and text messaging.

*** Sampling isa method of encouraging product trial where consumers are offered samples, typically free-of-charge. See also:Accidental Sample, Convenience Sampling.
Source: Wikipedia & Jack Loechner

Hispanics and bypass surgery

According to a study published on the June 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology and performed by Dr. Luis R. Castellanos, Dr. Sharon-Lise T. Normand, and Dr.  John Z. Ayanian, Hispanics undergoing bypass surgery (isolated CABG or Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting) in Massachusetts were more likely to be operated on by cardiac surgeons with higher risk-standardized mortality rates than by surgeons with lower rates.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Access to Heart Care - Hispanics have increased chances of lower quality bypass surgery

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Access to Heart Care – Hispanics have increased chances of lower quality bypass surgery

For the purpose of this study, participating surgeons were divided into four groups based on their risk-standardized 30-day all-cause mortality incidence rates.

The results:

  • White patients were more likely to be treated by surgeons with lower mortality rates than with lower mortality rates.
  • Hispanic patients were almost 3 times more likely to be treated by surgeons with higher mortality incidence rates.
  • Compared with whites, Hispanic patients were about half as less likely to be treated by surgeons with lower mortality incidence rates.
  • African-American and white patients shared the same probabilities of being treated by higher and lower mortality incidence rate doctors.

In conclusion, Hispanics undergoing isolated CABG in Massachusetts were more likely to be operated on by cardiac surgeons with higher risk-standardized mortality rates than by surgeons with lower rates.

Dr. Castellanos was funded by the Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy, Boston, Massachusetts, and data collection and analysis for this study were supported by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
Source: The American Journal of Cardiology

The Proposal with Bullock and Reynolds Depicts Real Life

Majority of U.S. Singles Would Have Green Card Wedding; High Percentage of Single Online Daters Would Marry Foreign Strangers for Cash

Hispanics Polled on Love

Hispanics Polled on Love

MIAMI BEACH, Fla., June 28 /PRNewswire/ — In The Proposal, last week’s #1 movie in America, Sandra Bullock is a Canadian in need of a Green Card, and so she gets engaged to her American assistant, played by Ryan Reynolds. Are Green Card marriages really that prevalent in today’s day and age? Last month, leading online dating websites (, (, and (, polled their members to see if they would walk down the aisle for reasons other than love.

The majority of U.S. male and female singles, ranging in ages from 18 – 55+, voted yes to a sham marriage so that a foreigner could remain in the Country; a high percentage said they would be willing to marry strangers for cash. Surprisingly, the majority of men would marry a complete stranger who they’ve only met via a blind date, while the majority of women would marry an ex-boyfriend.

“With so many Americans affected by the recession, we’re not surprised to see that many single online daters would be willing to trade the sanctity of marriage for money,” said Shira Zwebner, Relationship Advisor for, and”

In a new survey of thousands of online daters nationwide, we asked: Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds star in The Proposal, a movie about a US citizen engaged to his Canadian boss so she can stay in the Country and get her Green Card. Would you marry someone so they could stay in The United States?

Following are the complete results:
Men Women
Yes 58.8% 60.9%
No 29.4% 34.8%
We also asked: If you would be willing to have a Green Card marriage, who would you wed so that they could stay in the Country?

Following are the complete results:
Men Women
A blind date 29.6% 11.1%
An ex-boyfriend/girlfriend 14.8% 22.2%
My best friend’s relative 11.1% 20.6%
A stranger for cash 14.8% 16.7%
My boss 8.4% 10.3%
Gay friend’s lover 3.7% 1.0%
Source: Avalanche, LLC

Census Facts on Hispanics of Mexican origin

29.2 million

Number of U.S. residents Hispanics of Mexican origin in 2007. These residents constituted 10 percent of the nation’s total population and 64 percent of the Hispanic population.

18.25 million

Number of Hispanics of Mexican origin who lived either in California (10.97 million) or Texas (7.28 million). People of Mexican origin made up more than one-quarter of the residents of these two states.


Median age of people in the United States of Mexican descent. This compares with 36.7 years for the population as a whole.


Number of Mexican-Americans who are U.S. military veterans.

1.3 million

Number of people of Mexican descent 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher. This includes about 362,000 who have a graduate degree.


Among households where a householder was Hispanic of Mexican origin, the percentage of married-couple families with own children younger than 18. For all households, the corresponding percentage was 21 percent.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau