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PLMA Show Coverage: Hispanics Are America's Big New Market

November 17, 2011
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As far as Hispanics are concerned, the latest U.S. Census results held some surprises, Stephen Palacios, executive vice president of Cheskin Added Value, tells PLBuyer, at the PLMA Show in Rosemont.
 


As far as Hispanics are concerned, the latest U.S. Census results held some surprises, Stephen Palacios, executive vice president of Cheskin Added Value, tells PLBuyer, at the PLMA Show in Rosemont.
 
“I think we were all surprised at the degree of growth,” he says. “Everyone expected Hispanics to represent a high growth consumer population, but not 54 percent of all population growth. I think there were also some surprises as it relates to a relative scale what that expectation is moving forward.”
 
Because Hispanics are the largest growing consumer population base, what should that be telling retailers?
 
“Anybody who is doing business in food has interests in major designated market areas (DMA),” says Palacios. “If your product is nationally focused, 51 percent of all economic activity takes place in the top 15 DMAs in this country. So retailers know that when you look at the top 15 DMAs you see the disproportionate influence of Hispanics relative to their customer profile. So not having some sort of plan or thought process as it relates to whether they are serving that aspect of the market well, I think is non-strategic and potentially somebody will come along and do it better.”
 
Retailers need to connect with Hispanics on more of a cultural level, Palacios says while at the same time, appealing beyond the Hispanic consumer.
 
“There are all kinds of marketplace examples where Hispanic ethnic identity is playing beyond that ethnic group. For example, Dulce de Leche flavored ice cream or even salsa today is replacing ketchup as a main staple. Today, ethnic specific flavor profiles in the food and beverage category are extending beyond and that’s happening in entertainment and other experiences beyond food and beverage as well.”

 

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