Latinos Less Likely to Buy Some PL Categories, Report Finds

January 3, 2011
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Latinos are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to choose store brands when they buy dairy products, most beverages, some canned goods, over-the-counter medicines and other non-food items. So concludes a new study from market research firm Packaged Facts, entitled “Latino Shoppers: Demographic Patterns and Spending Trends among Hispanic Americans, 8th Edition.”
On the other hand, the report says, Hispanics are more likely to select store brands when they buy snacks such as potato chips, popcorn and pretzels, as well as certain categories of prepared meals such as complete packaged dinner mixes, cans or jars of macaroni and spaghetti, rice dishes and frozen prepared seafood. Latino shoppers also are more likely to select store brands when they purchase nearly all types of pet food.

Latinos are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to opt for private label facial tissues, light bulbs, paper napkins, food storage bags, plastic garbage bags, bleach and fabric softeners, the report says.

Moreover, Latino consumers are less likely than non-Hispanic white consumers to prefer store brands when they purchase a wide range of over-the-counter medications. These include cold remedies, cough syrup, headache and pain relievers, heartburn and indigestion aids and vitamins.
Also according to the Experian Simmons National Consumer Study, data from which is included in the Packaged Facts report, Latinos are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to look for the freshest ingredients and to seek out organic and natural products. They are less likely to eat frozen dinners or store-made meals. This is especially true for low-acculturation Hispanics.
Compared to non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics are less likely to notice in-store promotions when they are in supermarkets. Low-acculturation Latinos are especially disinterested in in-store promotional efforts. In-store announcements, however, are more likely to capture the attention of Latino food shoppers.
More generally, Hispanic food shoppers visit the supermarket less frequently than non-Hispanic white shoppers but spend more when they walk down supermarket aisles. Only 35 percent of Hispanics and 28 percent of low-acculturation Latinos report shopping in a supermarket 10 or more times in the past four weeks, compared to 46 percent of non-Hispanic whites. However, 30 percent of all Latinos and 35 percent of those in the low-acculturation segment report spending $150 per week on groceries, compared to only 21 percent of non-Hispanic whites.
The latest available data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey of the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that Hispanic consumer units spend a total of $53 billion for the food they eat at home. Latino households are responsible for more than 10 percent of all consumer expenditures but account for more than 11 percent of expenditures for food at home.
Average annual expenditures by Latino consumer units are 16 percent less than those of non-Hispanic consumer units ($41,981 vs. $50,015), but Latino households spend slightly more on food at home ($3,784 vs. $3,749). Food products for which Hispanic units spend more each year include beef, pork, poultry, fresh milk and cream, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables.

The Packaged Facts report is based on information collected directly from firms active in the Hispanic market as well as a comprehensive analysis of relevant industry and trade publications. The principal source of primary research data is the Spring 2010 Experian Simmons National Consumer Study, which was fielded between April 2009 and June 2010. The report also cites data from surveys conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center.


Census Bureau sources include the most current population estimates and projections as well as data from the 2009 American Community Survey and March 2010 Current Population Survey. Other U.S. Government sources include the Consumer Expenditure Survey of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Office of Immigration Statistics.


For more on the study, go to

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