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Nielsen: Asian-American Buying Power Increased by More than $50 Billion in One Year—Expected to Hit $1 Trillion by 2018

4 minute read | June 2015

New York, NY – June 11, 2015 – Nielsen has released the third edition of its Asian-American consumer report: Asian-Americans: Culturally Connected and Forging the Future—profiling the fastest-growing and most racially diverse segment of the U.S. multicultural majority. As part of Nielsen’s ongoing efforts to provide insights that help marketers understand and better serve Asian-American consumers, the report highlights how this flourishing segment is making a powerful impact on today’s U.S. economy and culture with their unique tastes, preferences and trendsetting habits.

“Asian-Americans are focused on the future, trendsetting and leading the way in technology, digital entertainment and fresh food while maintaining strong ties to their cultural heritage,” said Betty Lo, vice president, Community Alliances & Consumer Engagement, Nielsen. “Increasingly ambicultural, Asian-Americans’ cultural identities are shaping the mainstream market.”

This report examines Asian-American consumption behaviors in relation to the food, beverage, and health and beauty categories. In addition, Nielsen has provided more detail on the ever-evolving technology and digital content categories, where Asian-Americans continue to over index and are trendsetters when compared to the general consumer market.

Insights from the report show:

  • Asian-American buying power increased 7% from $718 billion to $770 billion in 2014 and continues to rise*. It is expected to reach $1 trillion by year 2018 and currently exceeds the economies of all but 18 countries worldwide.
  • Nearly 28% of Asian-Americans live in a multigenerational household, contributing to a diverse shopping list that reflects the age, health and dietary habits of the entire family.
  • Millennial Asian-American women are 31% more likely than non-Asian-American millennials to use a manufacturer’s coupon when they make a purchase. As discriminating heads of households, the search for quality and value drives their purchasing decisions, including how frequently they buy and how much they are willing to spend.
  • Asian-Americans are selective shoppers and will spend more on foods that support a long-standing tradition of holistic well-being. Asian-Americans are 31% more likely than average to buy organic foods and are 23% more likely to evaluate the nutrition of products.
  • Asian-American households spend more on wine and kitchen appliances/gadgets used for cooking, which supports a high tendency to entertain family and friends at home. According to Scarborough Research, Asian-Americans are 140% more likely to buy a bottle of wine worth $20 or more.
  • Asian-American households spend 70% more than their average share on skin-care preparation products and 25% more on fragrances. Asian-Americans are also highly loyal to brands and will spend more to guarantee they are of high-quality reputation and value.
  • Eighty-eight percent of Asian-Americans own credit cards, compared to 66% of the general population.
  • Asian-Americans are leaders when it comes to technology, mobile and social media usage. They also watch and download more movies than any other ethnic segment. Overall, 42% of Asian-Americans are more likely to agree that the Internet is a source of entertainment.

Nielsen worked closely with its Asian Pacific American External Advisory Council, which is comprised of industry, community, academia and business leaders, to establish best practices for panel recruitment and procedures to better reflect the consumer habits of the Asian-American community. In addition, Nielsen continues to partner with Asian-American and Pacific Islander-serving organizations to understand what issues matter most to this uniquely diverse community.

“We are proud to work closely with Nielsen to accurately reflect the unique patterns and behaviors that make up the multi-faceted Asian-American community,” said Mike Sherman, co-chair, Nielsen Asian Pacific American External Advisory Council and Asian-American Advertising Federation (3AF) board member. “Diverse voices matter, and in order to ensure they are heard loud and clear, we encourage Asian-Americans to say ‘yes’ if the opportunity to participate as a Nielsen household arises.”

To download a copy of the full report, please visit


*Selig Center for Economic Growth, Multicultural Economy 2014

About Nielsen

Nielsen N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance.  Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit


Andrew McCaskill – 646-654-5577  Benjamin Hyun – 310-289-5527 benjamin.hyun@iwgroupinc.comLisa Thong – 310-289-5526;

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