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Latinas Are Breadwinners, Driving Growth and Influence for FMCG Categories

4 minute read | October 2017

At an average age of 31, Latinas are entering their prime earning years and have made impressive educational and entrepreneurship gains, which have contributed to their economic power. Latinas have increasingly become the breadwinners and purchase decision makers in their households. Retailers and marketers have an opportunity for growth if they are able to understand and tap into Latina consumers’ impact on their households and other mainstream consumption habits.

Brand Loyal and Cost Conscious

When Latinas make purchases, they are striking a balance between buying the brands they trust and making a sound financial choice. Sixty-eight percent of Latinas agree that if a product is made by a company they trust, they will make the purchases, even if it is slightly more expensive. However, 72% agree that price is more important than quality, and 67% agree that they will stock up if a food item is on sale. Her cost-conscious attitude is further reinforced by where she shops. Latinas are 21% more likely to shop at warehouse clubs and spend 11% more at these stores than non-Hispanic white women. Latinas’ search for low prices could be attributed, in part, to their larger household sizes and the fact that children are more likely to be present in the home.

Focused on Food and Drink

One of the main ways Latinas retain a connection to their native culture is through cooking. Seventy-nine percent of Latinas say they cook meals frequently, and the same percentage says they enjoy being creative in the kitchen. It’s no surprise that Hispanic households spend more on a variety of shelf-stable meal starters, like shortening and oil, as well as sugar, spices and extracts and dry vegetables and grains. However, as Latinas grow their careers and become busier in their day-to-day activities, they are increasingly reliant on on-the-go meal options, as well. Forty percent of Latinas say they frequently eat meals on the go, and 90% have used a quick-service restaurant in the past 30 days.

Latinas’ greater purchasing is not limited to food items. Latinas, across age groups spend more on bottled water and refrigerated and shelf-stable juice drinks than non-Hispanic white women. Latinas over the age of 18 that are both born in the U.S. and foreign-born are more likely to have had a variety of non-alcoholic beverages on a weekly basis, including bottled teas, energy drinks and sports drinks.

Driving Growth in Health and Beauty

Latinas, as heads of their households, place an emphasis on health and wellness for the entire family. And that starts at a personal level. Latinas take great care to ensure they are always looking their best, which is evidenced by their increased purchasing in the beauty category. Latinas spend four percent more than non-Hispanic white women in the beauty supply stores and, across all age groups, spend more on a variety of product categories in this channel, including cosmetics, deodorant, women’s fragrances and hair care than non-Hispanic white women. Latinas also spend more on men’s fragrances than non-Hispanic white women.

For Latinas, health and personal fitness is also important. Thirty-five percent of Latinas run or jog, compared with 22% of non-Hispanic white women, and Latinas are also more likely to participate in a variety of sports including aerobics, basketball, softball and soccer. Their increased participation in these activities, along with children in their households (who also likely play sports), have led Latinas to shop more frequently at sporting goods stores and spend more when they do. Notably, Latinas spend 43% more on athletic shoes over $500 and 10% more on athletic equipment than non-Hispanic white women.

Latinas’ spending on clothing for their families extends far beyond athletics. Latinas spend 44% more on children’s clothing and 40% more on infant’s clothing than non-Hispanic white women. Children have an incredible influence over Latinas’ spending, with 51% agreeing that their children influence the brands they buy.

The Full Scope of Hispanic Influence

Latinas are an important consumer segment, driving growth for a variety of industries. However, for marketers to gauge and access the true potential impact of Hispanic consumers, they have to take into account their influence on the general market. Intercultural Affinity (ICA) segmentation allows marketers and manufacturers to gauge Hispanic influence on all consumers, regardless of race or ethnicity. Consumers who have a high ICA have shown to be receptive to products outside their native cultures. By including these consumers in marketing efforts around Hispanic products, this could create a higher ROI for marketers who are seeking expanded consumer segments and other growth opportunities for their products.

For Hispanic-oriented products, the effect of consumers who rate the highest on ICA, otherwise known as ‘Ambiculturals’ is clear. For instance, Ambiculturals spend twice as much per buyer on packaged and bulk rice, 37% more on dry beans, 32% more on tortillas and 30% more on refried beans than consumers rated the lowest on ICA, otherwise known as ‘Monoculturals.’ Marketers, when determining plans for reaching Hispanic consumers, must also plan to incorporate culturally adjacent consumers, who are capable of driving growth for culturally Hispanic products.

For more insights, download Nielsen’s Latina 2.0: Fiscally Conscious, Culturally Influential and Familia Forward report.

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