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MBPT Spotlight: Nielsen Shopper Data Tells CPG Brands Why They Should Be Targeting Hispanics

With the 2015-16 television upfront ad buying season close to kicking off, insights contained in the Nielsen Share of Wallet Study could be of great help to consumer packaged goods marketers who want to reach Hispanic shoppers.

The study not only found that Hispanics differ greatly from other ethnic groups in their purchasing habits and preferred methods of payments, but it also found that Hispanics spend at least $10 more per visit than the total market on all forms of consumer packaged goods.

Hispanic shoppers spend an average of $81 per visit on food products compared to $71 for the total market; $51 on adult beverages compared to $39; $47 on household products compared to $32; $43 on health and beauty aids compared to $30; and $37 on over-the-counter medications compared to $26.

Not only do Hispanics spend more per visit, but they also make as many, if not more, shopping trips per month than the total market. And among Hispanics, men spend more than women on most CPG categories.

The amount Hispanics spend on food and household products also increases with their annual income. Hispanics earning greater than $150,000 annually spend $127 per food visit, and $115 on household products per visit, compared to $99 and $53 national general population averages.

Hispanics also differ in the way they make purchases and utilize financial tools, the study finds. Hispanics are more likely to own debit cards and prepaid cards than the total population. Among Hispanics, 63% own debit cards and 22% own prepaid cards.

Seventy percent of Hispanics have individual checking accounts, while 57% have individual credit cards. Those percentages are slightly lower than the general population. Hispanics are also less likely to own store-specific cards, with 43% having those and store loyalty cards (38%). The latter two stats indicate that while Hispanics are very desirable customers and big spenders on CPG, retailers must constantly work to retain their business.

While 57% of the total Hispanic population own credit cards, that percentage rises with income. Among Hispanics earning between $50,000 and $99,999 annually, 71% own individual credit cards. That rises to 83% for Hispanics earning between $100,000 and $149,000, and to 90% for Hispanics earning $150,000 or more. And that percentage is higher than the 82% of $150,000-plus earners among the total population.

Whether Hispanics own individual credit cards also depends on primary language spoken at home. Only 44% of Spanish-only speaking persons have individual credit cards, while 60% of mostly Spanish-speaking persons do, 62% of mostly English-speaking Hispanic do, and 66% of English-only speaking Hispanics do.

The payment form most often used by Hispanics is a debit card (44%), followed by cash or check (34%). Only 19% of Hispanics use credit cards most often, compared to 35% of the total population.
For food purchases 39% of Hispanics pay most often with cash or check, while 38% pay for food most often with a debit card.

The Nielsen Share of Wall Study survey was conducted between September and November 2014 using both online and phone interviews across a demographically representative sample. In total 1,568 Hispanic respondents aged 18 years and older are included in the database.

In another Nielsen study titled The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers, data found 71% of Hispanics believe that their cultural or ethnic heritage is an important part of who they are. That compares to 60% of non-Hispanic whites who think that way.

This study singles out Goya as a food company that is savvy about reaching Hispanics will all types of products geared to their tastes. Goya offers 35 varieties of beans and peas and 40 types of rice and rice mixes, each geared to different Hispanic tastes.

Says the study, “Goya knows that cooking preferences, spices, product and brand choices are shaped by one’s heritage and upbringing. Goya does not just offer basic rice products, but has expanded into convenient seasoned rice mixes to include Congri (Cuban style), Yellow Rice (Spanish style), Paella Valenciana, Mexican Rice, Gallo Pinto (Central American sytle), Coconut Rice (Carribean style), among others.

The report says expanding its brand to target the different taste buds of Hispanic consumers is “likely to appeal to a new generation of multicultural super consumers and a broader marketplace influenced by cultural trends and the need for simplicity.”

It goes on to say that it is highly likely that the widespread adoption of more styles of rice, beans and other dried grains and vegetables will continue to transform and grow this category of foods in the future.

Says Jim Prevor, a food analyst and founder of, “Goya is benefiting from the American penchant for taking native foods and adding a uniquely red-white-and blue spin.”