As Juneteenth approaches on June 19, new research confirms that Black consumers are celebrating their culture on that occasion. Juneteenth, which became an official federal holiday two years ago, marks the date of the abolition of slavery in the United States 158 years ago.
According to a study from the Bethesda, Md.-based Collage Group, 60% of Black Americans celebrate Juneteenth, while 20% of Americans overall celebrate that occasion. When asked how they mark the day, 46% of Black respondents said they support Black-owned businesses, 45% educate themselves about Black history and culture, 37% have special foods or drinks and 29% attend events celebrating Black culture, like parades or festivals, among other responses.
Collage Group also queried Black consumers about their views on how Juneteenth is marketed. The study revealed that 84% either want brands to celebrate the holiday or are indifferent about how brands treat the occasion, opening up potential new avenues for merchandising and promotions.
Respondents indicated that authenticity is important. Just over half (51%) of Black consumers want brands to note the occasion and include it in advertising, but nearly a third (30%) are wary of the motivations of brands when there is such inclusion.
Collage Group also shared some takeaways and tips in the report when it comes to Black holidays such as Juneteenth. “Black Americans feel a strong connection to cultural holidays that honor their rich heritage,” the report states. To build those connections, the analyst suggested that brands go beyond “box checking” to show their company’s value sand priorities by maintaining a strong commitment to DEI efforts and celebrating Black cultural holiday through the year.
On that topic, Collage Group shared data on other holidays that resonate with Black Americans. Their findings show that the top three holidays among this demographic are Thanksgiving – celebrated by 90% of Black consumers – Christmas, celebrated by 89%, and New Year’s, celebrated by 85%.
Meanwhile, some grocers are commemorating Juneteenth in their own way. The Mariano's banner of Kroger Co., for example, is hosting a special Juneteenth event at its location in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, featuring Black-owned businesses, product sampling, and live music.