Hispanic Shoppers Balance Tradition, Convenience

Univision Communications Inc., the New York-based media company serving Hispanic America, released its “Hispanic Path to Purchase” study, conducted in partnership with SmartRevenue. The study focuses on the decision making process for the Hispanic community regarding the snacks and frozen foods categories.

“Understanding how and why Hispanics make their purchase decisions is crucial data when developing a proper roadmap that links pre-store and in-store influencers,” said Elizabeth Ellers, executive VP, Corporate Research, Univision. “Univision’s Path to Purchase study will help brands gain a better understanding of their Hispanic consumers, and in turn, it may result in a shift from a one-size-fits-all approach to a more shopper-centric marketing strategy.”

Coupling Tradition and Convenience

Preparing traditional family meals is valuable for the Hispanic community, but the need for convenient foods is increasing. Cooking traditional foods represents the importance of family time and offers a bridge to Hispanic culture. With their family’s busy schedules, Hispanic shoppers are seeing a paradigm shift in their meal prep, trip planning and shopping frequency. Hispanic families’ need to develop new and convenient meal and food planning strategies offers brands the opportunity to send messages that target both tradition and convenience.

“Hybrid Meals”

Hispanics are significantly less inclined than non-Hispanics to rely on frozen foods to create an entire meal (46 percent versus 59 percent of non-Hispanics). However, 42 percent of Hispanics will incorporate frozen products into traditional meals, creating “hybrid meals.” For example, among Hispanic consumers, pancakes and waffles were purchased more than any other type of frozen food. Almost half (47 percent) use these items as part of a meal.

“La Merienda,” Snack Occasions

The Path to Purchase study revealed that Hispanics are more likely to incorporate snacks throughout their day than non-Hispanics (23 percent versus 15 percent of non-Hispanics), and consume snacks more often at work. Additionally, because of the Hispanic custom, “merienda” (getting together to eat a small meal in the afternoon), Hispanics and non-Hispanics differ on the foods they choose to eat for snacks.

Socially Influenced Shopping Trips

Although restocking is the main reason for grocery shopping trips for both Hispanics and non-Hispanics, the study illustrates Hispanics’ focus on family by revealing that nearly 40 percent of Hispanics shop with their immediate family, while only 18 percent of non-Hispanics do the same. Hispanics are also more likely to consider recommendations from friends or family members (36 percent) compared to non-Hispanics (22 percent) when making frozen food purchases.

“Knowing Others Will Like It”

Aside from taste and flavor as the top purchase drivers for Hispanic consumers, knowing that others will be satisfied is the third most important factor in purchase decisions.  Fifty-nine percent of Hispanics cite “knowing others will like it” as a factor when purchasing frozen foods versus 36 percent of non-Hispanics.

The study, fielded by SmartRevenue, consists of responses from 1,018 Hispanic and non-Hispanic adults.

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