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Grocery wars: 3 helpful ingredients to win Hispanic shoppers

Saturday - 7/19/2014, 1:31pm  ET

Hispanics have an appetite, and with an estimated purchasing power of $1.5 trillion by 2015, they are an important audience that grocery chains should not ignore.

Hispanics are spending more frequently on groceries and shopping perishables than other consumer groups in the United States, according to the Nielsen report “Fresh View of Hispanic Consumers.”

Fresh food is the cornerstone of Hispanic grocery shopping, as Hispanics spend $175 more on fresh foods per year than the national average. Fresh food ingredients and home cooking also are central to Hispanic culture, and 75 percent of Hispanic families have a traditional sit-down meal every day, based on the report “The Why Behind The Buy” from Acosta Sales & Marketing and Univision Communications.

Historically, Hispanics have shopped in specialty supermarkets or local Latino retailers. However, as the Hispanic community keeps growing in numbers and geographically, mainstream supermarket chains have benefited from their business. The “convenience factor” plays an important role in Hispanics’ product choices based on level of acculturation.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, Hispanics spend $300 per year more on groceries than non-Hispanics. If your company wants to achieve great results by targeting this powerful audience, here are three important ingredients of the recipe:

1. Season the markets

Based on the amount of stores you have, determine which ones have the highest concentration of Hispanics living in the area. The stores with the right assortment, quality, pricing, and customer service are most likely to win this valuable demographic. Wal-Mart is one of the top advertisers targeting Hispanics and even developed special store formats to cater to them.

2. Bake the strategy

There are different ways to execute your promotions. Radio, TV and print are very important. If you are running inserts in your local publications, do not rely on free translations from them. They tend to have spelling and grammatical errors and it is not a good image for your company. Also, Hispanics are stronger users of social media, mobile, and digital based on acculturation levels. These are great tools for couponing and redeeming offers.

3. Buen provecho -Von a petit

Hispanics are a young, loyal and vibrant community that your business can benefit from. Having the right tools, messaging and strategy will set you apart from the competition. Support your efforts with grassroots marketing and partner with local Hispanic non-profit organizations. This will also help you gain brand loyalty and awareness that will drive traffic to your stores.

Understanding the culture will help you gain more power in the market. Pay close attention to this growing shopper demographic and their habits. The sooner you put a comprehensive plan into action, the faster you will capture this ever-evolving segment.

© 2014 American City Business Journals, Inc.