Data from Latinum Network, which was presented during a Sanford C. Bernstein investor conference call on April 8, found that consumer spending from the US Hispanic market is expected to surpass $1 trillion by 2013.
The community's spending in the food, beverage, and restaurant industries between 2005 and 2008 was up $15 billion, offsetting the declines in the rest of the sector.
Additionally, the Hispanic community was responsible for more than $9 billion of new value in categories such as fish and seafood, fresh fruit juice, and dairy products, where general market demand has lessened in these three sectors."We see the growth in food, beverage, and restaurant here as a particularly interesting opportunity for our investors," said Alexia Howard, senior research analyst for US foods at Sanford C. Bernstein, in a statement. "Especially with the relative stability of the Hispanic demographics, this growth can be reliably predicted through 2050."
Juana Veliz, MD of the Hispanic practice for Lagrant Communications, attributed the continued spending in the food space to the importance that food and family has in the Latino community.
"You saw an increase in certain food and beverage sectors that you traditionally did not see with mainstream," she told PRWeek. "I think that may be attributed to a lot of Latinos who are still very oriented to cooking. That's very traditional in our home environment."
The data showed that 88% of Hispanics reported "foods and recipes from my cultural background have a special place in my heart," compared to 62% of non-Hispanic whites.
"Clearly, US Hispanics represent a growing market in the midst of a mature US consumer economy, but in order to win over this important demo, brands must make an authentic appeal to the unique behaviors and tastes," said David Wellisch, co-founder and principal of Latinum Network, in a statement.
When the food and beverage industry reaches out to the Hispanic community, brands and companies should also pay attention to trends, such as obesity, that run parallel to an increase in frozen foods and eating out, Veliz added.
"You're looking at an increasing rate of Latino childhood obesity and I think that's definitely an angle, because a lot of these products and brands do offer a healthy alternative," she said. "I think you'll likely see more of an education factor."