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Five Things You Need To Know About Hispanic Consumers in 2021

Five Things To Know About Hispanic Consumers in 2021

Interested in deeper engagements with Hispanic Americans? Read on for 5 takeaways and download our presentation on enhancing your brand's ability to authentically connect with this high-growth consumer segment.

Collage Group’s Essentials of Hispanic Consumers presentation explores three areas of our consumer fundamentals research for the Hispanic segment: demographics and economic opportunity, identity-related marketing expectations, and Cultural Traits. Read below for several takeaways, watch a replay of our recent Insights Association presentation and download an excerpt to go deeper.

1. The Hispanic segment is fast growing and economically powerful. It is expected to almost double over the next 40 years, growing from 60 million to 111 million people.

2. Despite comprising just 18% of the population, Hispanic Americans were responsible for 26% of real expenditure growth between 2009 and 2019.

3. Ethnicity is an important component of most Hispanic Americans’ identity, but this does vary by acculturation.

4. One way identity reveals its importance in the segment is the extent to which Hispanic consumers say they want to support brands that support Hispanic people.

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Four Group Traits that Best Characterize Hispanic Consumers

Four Group Traits that Best Characterize Hispanic Consumers

The Hispanic segment accounts for most of U.S. population growth over the past decade, primarily driven by U.S.-born Acculturated and Bicultural Hispanics.

By 2060, Collage projects Hispanic consumers to represent 28 percent of the total U.S. population. To capture this growth, brands and marketers must deepen their understanding of the Hispanic consumer segment.

Across the last several years, Collage Group has been developing powerful new tools to help brands become more Culturally Fluent.  Our Cultural Traits are central to this effort. These data-driven tools provide measures of cultural variation that reveal insights into the similarities and differences across consumer segments.  Collage Group members use these tools to build more efficient general market campaigns, as well as more effective dedicated activations. 

The four Group Traits that best characterize the Hispanic segment are Cultural Duality, Optimism, Warmth, and Tuned-In.

1. Cultural Duality

Cultural Duality captures the feeling of being both “American” and simultaneously identifying with another culture or heritage. Individuals exhibiting this Group Trait constantly find new ways to both keep old traditions alive and redefine American culture in their own image.

Although Hispanic Americans firmly believe in keeping and cultivating their cultural heritage, they have had to adapt culturally as immigrants and minorities. As a result, duality is their reality—they seamlessly navigate both worlds with a cultural fluidity that is easy and authentic.

2. Optimism

Optimism refers to the proclivity to see one’s future as full of opportunity and promise.

Rather than worrying about the possibility of things going wrong, individuals exhibiting this Group Trait are confident that, in the long run, their problems will work themselves out and their lives will continue to improve.

Despite adversity and current anti-Hispanic sentiment, Hispanic Americans are still optimistic and hopeful about their future in the U.S., as a population and on an individual level. They challenge themselves to achieve success and trust that hard work will get them there.

3. Warmth

Warmth conveys one’s desire to prioritize having personal and “human” relationships with those around them. Individuals exhibiting this Group Trait want others to be as comfortable as possible in their presence, regardless of how long they’ve known one another or the specifics of their interactions.

Hispanic Americans place high value on creating warm, friendly, informal relationships with everyone they know and meet. The focus on informality doesn’t negate the existence of hierarchical roles or deference to authority—rather, it allows a bond of mutual respect, understanding, and trust to form. While this trait is slightly stronger in older Hispanics, younger Hispanics will likely embrace it as they age.

4. Tuned-In

Tuned-In represents a desire to keep up with the current cultural moment, especially when it comes to entertainment. People exhibiting this Group Trait are more likely to seek out and participate in the latest of trends and popular culture, and to have little shame in going along with “mainstream” tastes.

Hispanic Americans are open-minded and adventurous. Their lived experience adapting to cultures and their optimistic attitude culminate in a desire to insert themselves into the mainstream. They want to both understand and contribute to the current moment. And for as much as their environment shapes them, they equally wield influence.

Fill out the form below to learn how we can help your brand achieve Cultural Fluency.

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Understanding Hispanic Consumer Preferences for Food & Dining

Understanding Hispanic Consumer Preferences for Food & Dining
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Is your brand effectively appealing to the culinary and dining preferences and passions of Hispanic consumers? Food plays an important role in cultural identity among Hispanics. It combines historic flavors with current trends, creating a source of cultural pride and connection.

In our webinar, Hispanic Passions for Food & Dining, we highlight key findings on Hispanic American food preferences and passions, calling out six key insights:

  1. Food is the #1 passion point for Hispanic consumers.
  2. Two in five consumers are strict healthy eaters.
  3. Hispanics are more skeptical of packaged foods, especially frozen foods.
  4. When it comes to prepared or fast food, Hispanics prefer convenience over fresh, but stick with authenticity.
  5. Hispanic Americans are more likely to choose less sugary options.
  6. Hispanics, like Asians, place high value on authentic cooking.

Fill out the form to learn more in the webinar replay.

We had a lot of great questions from webinar attendees and called upon our food experts to provide a deeper explanation. Director of Product and Content Bryan Miller and Senior Analyst Connor Wahrman weigh in below.

What do you think makes food a top passion point for Hispanic consumers?

Bryan: Some of our newest research further confirms that many Hispanics in the U.S. tend to be experience-seeking. Food is an area where we see this appear frequently. Further, for many Hispanics, food is a way to connect with culture and heritage. This does vary a bit by acculturation; a more detailed breakdown is available in our member platform. Importantly, most segments see food as a top passion point, except younger segments. For example, in Gen Z consumers we’ve seen more functional in eating habits/preferences.

Are Hispanic consumers interested in food delivery services: UberEats, Instacart, Amazon Fresh, etc.? Do they see these services as more convenient? Less fresh?

Connor: Our research shows that Hispanic consumers are most likely to integrate technology into their shopping. They use mobile devices to aid in in-store shopping and are most interested in curbside pickup services and secure drop-off locations.

Do you have suggestions on how to position my brand to leverage experiential eating, particularly during the pandemic?

Bryan: Try highlighting new and interesting ways that your product can be used… Think about sharing recipes online and/or promoted through social media. People are at home, online more, and cooking more; give them an excuse to try something new with your products.

Connor: Also, consider shifting the focus from “exciting eating” to “authentic cooking” experiences. Work to identify ways to make authentic, fresh food more accessible to consumers through DIY opportunities. For example, do for food/cooking what Netflix is doing with “watch parties.”

With the current economic system, how are Hispanic food purchasing behaviors/preferences impacted?

Connor: Hispanic consumers are most price-sensitive when it comes to food products compared to other segments, so they are most willing to sacrifice quality and brand loyalty considerations as economic conditions continue to stagnate/decline.

What are the key differences by generation? Is there anything that stands out for Gen Z, specifically?

Bryan: In general, we see Gen Z (especially younger Gen Z) tending to be more functional eaters. We suspect this is an age effect and that the attitudes will shift as they age. Shifts will likely stem from beginning to cook more, having more choice about what they eat (right now parents may be choosing), and having more disposable income.

Fill out the form above to access the webinar replay and contact us with additional questions, or for more information about our syndicated online research and custom capabilities.

On the Use of The Terms “Black” and “Hispanic”

On the Use of The Terms “Black” and “Hispanic”
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Members often approach us to ask about the terminology used to refer to a few of the segments we cover. Should we say Black or African-American? Are people moving to Latinx and away from Hispanic? Read on for our own view on these issues.

Black vs African-American

Over the past few years, we’ve engaged in extensive conversation both internally and externally with members on which term—”Black” or “African American”—is most appropriate when referring to black individuals and African-American individuals. In the past, we’ve defaulted to the adjective “African-American” to describe the segment and also used “African Americans” as shorthand for the segment.

Recently, however, we’ve seen a shift toward the use of “black” as the primary modifier in many organizations and within academic centers and policy organizations (e.g., black Americans, black consumers). For example, Pew Charitable Trust generally uses the term “Black” as do Brookings InstituteUrban InstituteP&G and many other highly respected organizations.  Thus, we now use “black” as a modifier (e.g., black segment, black Americans) and “Black” as shorthand for the segment.

Our decision to use the term “b/Black” also issues from the fact that it is technically more correct as this term can apply to all individuals descended from the African diaspora, including those that do not identify with African or American heritage. Consider for example recent black immigrants from Africa may not identify with American heritage, or recent black immigrants from the Caribbean who may not identify with either African or American heritage.

Additionally, we’ve seen indicators that this term is more associated with the move among many black Americans to re-appropriate “blackness,” an appearance and expression the mainstream historically viewed as negative, in order to invert that dynamic, as well as empower and celebrate.  Look no further than “Black Panther,” “Black Twitter” and the show “Blackish” for examples.

It is important to note, however, that there are still many views on what terminology is the best to use. This short video from PBS’s program on black culture Say It Out Loud does a great job of drawing out all the challenges of settling on a single term to refer to a group that is internally quite diverse. And this article from economist Margaret Simms at the Urban Institute highlights the importance of acknowledging structural racism regardless of the terminology one ultimately decides on.

Thus, we think one of the best approaches companies can take when deciding which terminology they use is to be informed and thoughtful, and to remain open to candid discussion about why they’ve made the choice they make.

Hispanic/Latino-a/LatinX

Over the past few years, there has been increased discussion and controversy over the use of specific terms referring to the Hispanic population. It has long been the Collage standard to use the word “Hispanic,” but we now have data to support your own decisions in this space.

As you can see, the most popular way for Hispanic consumers to self-identify is in direct reference to their heritage country – as Mexican, Cuban, Bolivian, etc. About one third of Hispanic consumers identify in this way, but it is much more popular for the Unacculturated Hispanic segment. The second most popular term to use is “Latino” or “Latina.” These two options together have a slight plurality for Bicultural Hispanic consumers. For the Acculturated Hispanic segment, the most popular term to use is “Hispanic.” If your target Hispanic consumers have a variety of heritage countries, then your best bet will be “Hispanic” when communicating in English and “Latino” or “Latina” for communicating in Spanish.

Despite the popularity of the term “Latinx” in young, progressive, and especially queer Hispanic spaces, only one percent of Hispanic consumers opt for that term. This finding aligns with others’ research on the subject, but we wanted to dig deeper. We asked Hispanic consumers whether they felt positively, negatively, or neutral towards the use of various terms to describe people of their background, and we found that “Latinx” only has a net positive response for younger Hispanic consumers. But this margin is quite narrow, suggesting that the term is highly controversial even for the Millennial and Gen Z Hispanic segments.

And this makes sense for a few key reasons. First, the term “Latinx” is still relatively fresh in the public consciousness, and it takes time for communities to accept new terms, especially if they seem to be more popular outside of the community than inside. Second, notice that Hispanic women are more positive towards the term “Latina” than Hispanic men are towards “Latino.” We see a distinct Latina pride in the modern Hispanic consciousness, and for many “Latinx” threatens to erase that progress.

Finally, and most importantly, “Latinx” is a term of, by, and for individuals who do not feel represented by gendered language. If your consumers explicitly identify as Latinx, or if you yourself feel a connection with the term, use it! But Latinx is not your only option for non-gendered language, and despite its cache on college campuses, it is not currently a preferred or even appreciated term for most Hispanic consumers.

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Mom Knows Best: Understanding the Key Decision-Makers of the Family, with Special Attention to Hispanic Moms

Mom Knows Best: Understanding the Key Decision-Makers of the Family, with Special Attention to Hispanic Moms
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Moms are essential to running their families, as well as driving brand growth. Dive into our research for strategic insights on how you can capture spending from moms across segments, as well as specifically resonate with Hispanic moms.

We all know moms play an important role in the family, but they’re also a crucial consumer group! They overwhelmingly steer their family’s purchases as they research products, do the shopping, and make countless decisions when it comes to budgeting and spending. However, many moms feel misunderstood by the very brands and companies they’re pouring themselves into as consumers. This means that moms merit specific attention.

It’s also important to recognize that not all moms are alike. After all, racial and ethnic background often shape the way mothers raise children and navigate the challenges of motherhood. Hispanic moms are an especially important group to focus on given the Hispanic segment’s current and projected population and spending growth. Brands that capture Hispanic moms today not only win the moms—they’re also taking steps to capture their children’s attention down the road.

To help you better understand who moms are and how they act as consumers, we’ve compiled data from 2019 Collage Group syndicated research initiatives. We’ve broken the data down by moms vs. non-moms, and further by Hispanicity.

We start off by providing Cultural Attribute Profiles for each group. These profiles reveal how each group scores on important characteristics including: anxiety, cultural rootedness, exceptionalism, independence, adventurousness, and compliance. Then, we cover relationships and family dynamics. Afterwards, we take a deep dive on moms’ path to purchase, including social media influence, product reviews, word-of-mouth, and shopping behaviors. Lastly, our study concludes with a section on what holidays and nightlife are like for moms.

Our insights will help you execute campaigns that will win across the board with moms, and also ways that you can take a targeted approach to resonate with Hispanic moms.

Strategic takeaways from our research include:

  1. Moms are heavy social media users. They use it as a tool to gather product information, as well as to share their own experiences. Brands should have a strong social media presence and make product information accessible. This is also an opportunity to tap into the power of mom influencers to bolster brand awareness.
  2. Preserving culture is a point of concern for Hispanic Moms. They want to ensure their children appreciate their roots. Tap into cultural identity and family themes simultaneously. This intersection is where heritage is top-of-mind for Hispanic Moms.
  3. Moms are the primary drivers of planning, organizing, and spending for special occasions. They love celebrating holidays and making them special for their kids. Holiday activations should be targeted at moms. Highlight your product’s ability to support their holiday celebrations.

Superbowl LIV Halftime Proves Brands Can Use Hispanic Culture to Win the General Market

Superbowl LIV Halftime Proves Brands Can Use Hispanic Culture to Win the General Market
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Our post-Superbowl survey on the halftime show found that Hispanic, Black, and White consumers in the “New Wave” (ages 18-39) are receptive to Hispanic culture and messaging. This data further supports our claim that brands can win across this segment with a multicultural message.

Learn how these insights can be applied to your brand.

“I don’t know what [NFL commissioner] Goodell was thinking,” confided a colleague after reflecting on the Superbowl LIV halftime extravaganza featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. “Frankly, I’m shocked he signed off on that thing.”

Google “super bowl halftime controversy 2020” and you’ll get over six million results.  It seems a lot of people shared my friend’s view that Roger Goodell’s decision to feature the Latina superstars was suspect. But many more would likely champion the decision based on the massive positive press around JLo’s celebration of Puerto Rico, Shakira’s nod to her middle eastern heritage, and of course the spike in both artists’ record sales and online streams.

But anecdotal evidence only provides limited insight. To really understand what consumers thought about this culturally charged event, brands need data. So, we fielded a survey to 284 Hispanic, Black, and White consumers age 18-39.  We call this segment the “New Wave,” defined by an experience of growing up in an intrinsically diverse America. The findings from this survey and what they mean for brands are below.

First, and most importantly, the New Wave was exceptionally positive about the halftime show. In fact, almost 80% or more of each segment said they enjoyed the show.

When asked what they liked most, respondents repeatedly mentioned Latinas and Latin culture, as you see in the quotes below.  If Goodell’s intent was to ensure the NFL’s relevance to the 25 million Hispanic NFL fans who are part of America’s fastest growing demographic, then his decision to celebrate Hispanic culture and its growing influence on America was a no-brainer.

Second, almost 70% of women surveyed thought the halftime show empowered women. 23% of White women felt the show objectified women, while less than half that percentage of Hispanic and Black women felt the same. One caveat: Unacculturated Hispanics were slightly more likely (21%) to think the show objectified women.

Third, over 80% of Hispanics thought the show represented Hispanic culture well. And 60% of these individuals also agreed that it represented American culture well. What’s really interesting is that non-Hispanic segments were even more likely to hold this view. Over 80% of the Black respondents and 62% of the White respondents who thought the show represented Hispanic culture well also thought the show represented American culture well. These data reveal that a majority of people can view something as both strongly Hispanic and strongly American – these are not trade-offs.  And you don’t even have to be Hispanic to hold that view.

Our data indicate that the vast majority of the New Wave—18-39 year old Americans—did not find the show particularly controversial and were thrilled about the inclusion of superstar Latinas. This finding is further evidence that brands looking to take the next big step in marketing, which is to lead with multicultural, will be well-positioned to win with the New Wave. Your brand should follow the evidence and lean into the multicultural space to ensure you capture your share of this segment’s attention and loyalty.

Four Things You Need to Know About the U.S. Hispanic Population

Four Things You Need to Know About the U.S. Hispanic Population
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It’s 2019. At this point, no one should be surprised to learn that Hispanic consumers are a must-have for brands that want to maintain and grow market share. Even though the writing’s been on the wall for years, many brands are still struggling to connect with this segment in an authentic and natural manner. A first step to making this sort of connection is to understand who Hispanics are and what they value. Hover over the tiles below to reveal our insights.

Fill out the form for exclusive access to our study.

Hover to Reveal Insights

1.

Age

1.

In addition to being large, the Hispanic segment is also remarkably young, with a median age of 29 compared to 40 for the non-Hispanic population. Hispanic prominence in the U.S. will increase as this young segment ages and their education level and median income continue to rise.

3.

Heritage

3.

Although Hispanics firmly believe in keeping and cultivating their cultural heritage, they have had to adapt culturally as immigrants and minorities. As a result, duality is their reality—they navigate the different cultural worlds they inhabit in a way that is easy and authentic. This ability allows the segment to serve as integrators and amplifiers of culture.

2.

Language

2.

The Spanish language will be an important feature of the U.S. consumer landscape for the foreseeable future. After all, 72% of Hispanics speak Spanish at home, and 85% of Hispanic parents speak Spanish to their children.

4.

Family

4.

Hispanics place an emphasis on family as a source of one’s identity and protection against the hardships of life. They are loyal to family and support each other financially and morally. Family relations are grounded in respect and interdependence.

Related Content

Five Things You Need To Know About Hispanic Consumers in 2021

Five Things To Know About Hispanic Consumers in 2021

Interested in deeper engagements with Hispanic Americans? Read on for 5 takeaways and download our presentation on enhancing your brand's ability to authentically connect with this high-growth consumer segment.

Collage Group’s Essentials of Hispanic Consumers presentation explores three areas of our consumer fundamentals research for the Hispanic segment: demographics and economic opportunity, identity-related marketing expectations, and Cultural Traits. Read below for several takeaways, watch a replay of our recent Insights Association presentation and download an excerpt to go deeper.

1. The Hispanic segment is fast growing and economically powerful. It is expected to almost double over the next 40 years, growing from 60 million to 111 million people.

2. Despite comprising just 18% of the population, Hispanic Americans were responsible for 26% of real expenditure growth between 2009 and 2019.

3. Ethnicity is an important component of most Hispanic Americans’ identity, but this does vary by acculturation.

4. One way identity reveals its importance in the segment is the extent to which Hispanic consumers say they want to support brands that support Hispanic people.

Get In Touch.

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Four Group Traits that Best Characterize Hispanic Consumers

Four Group Traits that Best Characterize Hispanic Consumers

The Hispanic segment accounts for most of U.S. population growth over the past decade, primarily driven by U.S.-born Acculturated and Bicultural Hispanics.

By 2060, Collage projects Hispanic consumers to represent 28 percent of the total U.S. population. To capture this growth, brands and marketers must deepen their understanding of the Hispanic consumer segment.

Across the last several years, Collage Group has been developing powerful new tools to help brands become more Culturally Fluent.  Our Cultural Traits are central to this effort. These data-driven tools provide measures of cultural variation that reveal insights into the similarities and differences across consumer segments.  Collage Group members use these tools to build more efficient general market campaigns, as well as more effective dedicated activations. 

The four Group Traits that best characterize the Hispanic segment are Cultural Duality, Optimism, Warmth, and Tuned-In.

1. Cultural Duality

Cultural Duality captures the feeling of being both “American” and simultaneously identifying with another culture or heritage. Individuals exhibiting this Group Trait constantly find new ways to both keep old traditions alive and redefine American culture in their own image.

Although Hispanic Americans firmly believe in keeping and cultivating their cultural heritage, they have had to adapt culturally as immigrants and minorities. As a result, duality is their reality—they seamlessly navigate both worlds with a cultural fluidity that is easy and authentic.

2. Optimism

Optimism refers to the proclivity to see one’s future as full of opportunity and promise.

Rather than worrying about the possibility of things going wrong, individuals exhibiting this Group Trait are confident that, in the long run, their problems will work themselves out and their lives will continue to improve.

Despite adversity and current anti-Hispanic sentiment, Hispanic Americans are still optimistic and hopeful about their future in the U.S., as a population and on an individual level. They challenge themselves to achieve success and trust that hard work will get them there.

3. Warmth

Warmth conveys one’s desire to prioritize having personal and “human” relationships with those around them. Individuals exhibiting this Group Trait want others to be as comfortable as possible in their presence, regardless of how long they’ve known one another or the specifics of their interactions.

Hispanic Americans place high value on creating warm, friendly, informal relationships with everyone they know and meet. The focus on informality doesn’t negate the existence of hierarchical roles or deference to authority—rather, it allows a bond of mutual respect, understanding, and trust to form. While this trait is slightly stronger in older Hispanics, younger Hispanics will likely embrace it as they age.

4. Tuned-In

Tuned-In represents a desire to keep up with the current cultural moment, especially when it comes to entertainment. People exhibiting this Group Trait are more likely to seek out and participate in the latest of trends and popular culture, and to have little shame in going along with “mainstream” tastes.

Hispanic Americans are open-minded and adventurous. Their lived experience adapting to cultures and their optimistic attitude culminate in a desire to insert themselves into the mainstream. They want to both understand and contribute to the current moment. And for as much as their environment shapes them, they equally wield influence.

Fill out the form below to learn how we can help your brand achieve Cultural Fluency.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of just for you

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Understanding Hispanic Consumer Preferences for Food & Dining

Understanding Hispanic Consumer Preferences for Food & Dining
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Is your brand effectively appealing to the culinary and dining preferences and passions of Hispanic consumers? Food plays an important role in cultural identity among Hispanics. It combines historic flavors with current trends, creating a source of cultural pride and connection.

In our webinar, Hispanic Passions for Food & Dining, we highlight key findings on Hispanic American food preferences and passions, calling out six key insights:

  1. Food is the #1 passion point for Hispanic consumers.
  2. Two in five consumers are strict healthy eaters.
  3. Hispanics are more skeptical of packaged foods, especially frozen foods.
  4. When it comes to prepared or fast food, Hispanics prefer convenience over fresh, but stick with authenticity.
  5. Hispanic Americans are more likely to choose less sugary options.
  6. Hispanics, like Asians, place high value on authentic cooking.

Fill out the form to learn more in the webinar replay.

We had a lot of great questions from webinar attendees and called upon our food experts to provide a deeper explanation. Director of Product and Content Bryan Miller and Senior Analyst Connor Wahrman weigh in below.

What do you think makes food a top passion point for Hispanic consumers?

Bryan: Some of our newest research further confirms that many Hispanics in the U.S. tend to be experience-seeking. Food is an area where we see this appear frequently. Further, for many Hispanics, food is a way to connect with culture and heritage. This does vary a bit by acculturation; a more detailed breakdown is available in our member platform. Importantly, most segments see food as a top passion point, except younger segments. For example, in Gen Z consumers we’ve seen more functional in eating habits/preferences.

Are Hispanic consumers interested in food delivery services: UberEats, Instacart, Amazon Fresh, etc.? Do they see these services as more convenient? Less fresh?

Connor: Our research shows that Hispanic consumers are most likely to integrate technology into their shopping. They use mobile devices to aid in in-store shopping and are most interested in curbside pickup services and secure drop-off locations.

Do you have suggestions on how to position my brand to leverage experiential eating, particularly during the pandemic?

Bryan: Try highlighting new and interesting ways that your product can be used… Think about sharing recipes online and/or promoted through social media. People are at home, online more, and cooking more; give them an excuse to try something new with your products.

Connor: Also, consider shifting the focus from “exciting eating” to “authentic cooking” experiences. Work to identify ways to make authentic, fresh food more accessible to consumers through DIY opportunities. For example, do for food/cooking what Netflix is doing with “watch parties.”

With the current economic system, how are Hispanic food purchasing behaviors/preferences impacted?

Connor: Hispanic consumers are most price-sensitive when it comes to food products compared to other segments, so they are most willing to sacrifice quality and brand loyalty considerations as economic conditions continue to stagnate/decline.

What are the key differences by generation? Is there anything that stands out for Gen Z, specifically?

Bryan: In general, we see Gen Z (especially younger Gen Z) tending to be more functional eaters. We suspect this is an age effect and that the attitudes will shift as they age. Shifts will likely stem from beginning to cook more, having more choice about what they eat (right now parents may be choosing), and having more disposable income.

Fill out the form above to access the webinar replay and contact us with additional questions, or for more information about our syndicated online research and custom capabilities.

On the Use of The Terms “Black” and “Hispanic”

On the Use of The Terms “Black” and “Hispanic”
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Members often approach us to ask about the terminology used to refer to a few of the segments we cover. Should we say Black or African-American? Are people moving to Latinx and away from Hispanic? Read on for our own view on these issues.

Black vs African-American

Over the past few years, we’ve engaged in extensive conversation both internally and externally with members on which term—”Black” or “African American”—is most appropriate when referring to black individuals and African-American individuals. In the past, we’ve defaulted to the adjective “African-American” to describe the segment and also used “African Americans” as shorthand for the segment.

Recently, however, we’ve seen a shift toward the use of “black” as the primary modifier in many organizations and within academic centers and policy organizations (e.g., black Americans, black consumers). For example, Pew Charitable Trust generally uses the term “Black” as do Brookings InstituteUrban InstituteP&G and many other highly respected organizations.  Thus, we now use “black” as a modifier (e.g., black segment, black Americans) and “Black” as shorthand for the segment.

Our decision to use the term “b/Black” also issues from the fact that it is technically more correct as this term can apply to all individuals descended from the African diaspora, including those that do not identify with African or American heritage. Consider for example recent black immigrants from Africa may not identify with American heritage, or recent black immigrants from the Caribbean who may not identify with either African or American heritage.

Additionally, we’ve seen indicators that this term is more associated with the move among many black Americans to re-appropriate “blackness,” an appearance and expression the mainstream historically viewed as negative, in order to invert that dynamic, as well as empower and celebrate.  Look no further than “Black Panther,” “Black Twitter” and the show “Blackish” for examples.

It is important to note, however, that there are still many views on what terminology is the best to use. This short video from PBS’s program on black culture Say It Out Loud does a great job of drawing out all the challenges of settling on a single term to refer to a group that is internally quite diverse. And this article from economist Margaret Simms at the Urban Institute highlights the importance of acknowledging structural racism regardless of the terminology one ultimately decides on.

Thus, we think one of the best approaches companies can take when deciding which terminology they use is to be informed and thoughtful, and to remain open to candid discussion about why they’ve made the choice they make.

Hispanic/Latino-a/LatinX

Over the past few years, there has been increased discussion and controversy over the use of specific terms referring to the Hispanic population. It has long been the Collage standard to use the word “Hispanic,” but we now have data to support your own decisions in this space.

As you can see, the most popular way for Hispanic consumers to self-identify is in direct reference to their heritage country – as Mexican, Cuban, Bolivian, etc. About one third of Hispanic consumers identify in this way, but it is much more popular for the Unacculturated Hispanic segment. The second most popular term to use is “Latino” or “Latina.” These two options together have a slight plurality for Bicultural Hispanic consumers. For the Acculturated Hispanic segment, the most popular term to use is “Hispanic.” If your target Hispanic consumers have a variety of heritage countries, then your best bet will be “Hispanic” when communicating in English and “Latino” or “Latina” for communicating in Spanish.

Despite the popularity of the term “Latinx” in young, progressive, and especially queer Hispanic spaces, only one percent of Hispanic consumers opt for that term. This finding aligns with others’ research on the subject, but we wanted to dig deeper. We asked Hispanic consumers whether they felt positively, negatively, or neutral towards the use of various terms to describe people of their background, and we found that “Latinx” only has a net positive response for younger Hispanic consumers. But this margin is quite narrow, suggesting that the term is highly controversial even for the Millennial and Gen Z Hispanic segments.

And this makes sense for a few key reasons. First, the term “Latinx” is still relatively fresh in the public consciousness, and it takes time for communities to accept new terms, especially if they seem to be more popular outside of the community than inside. Second, notice that Hispanic women are more positive towards the term “Latina” than Hispanic men are towards “Latino.” We see a distinct Latina pride in the modern Hispanic consciousness, and for many “Latinx” threatens to erase that progress.

Finally, and most importantly, “Latinx” is a term of, by, and for individuals who do not feel represented by gendered language. If your consumers explicitly identify as Latinx, or if you yourself feel a connection with the term, use it! But Latinx is not your only option for non-gendered language, and despite its cache on college campuses, it is not currently a preferred or even appreciated term for most Hispanic consumers.

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Mom Knows Best: Understanding the Key Decision-Makers of the Family, with Special Attention to Hispanic Moms

Mom Knows Best: Understanding the Key Decision-Makers of the Family, with Special Attention to Hispanic Moms
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Moms are essential to running their families, as well as driving brand growth. Dive into our research for strategic insights on how you can capture spending from moms across segments, as well as specifically resonate with Hispanic moms.

We all know moms play an important role in the family, but they’re also a crucial consumer group! They overwhelmingly steer their family’s purchases as they research products, do the shopping, and make countless decisions when it comes to budgeting and spending. However, many moms feel misunderstood by the very brands and companies they’re pouring themselves into as consumers. This means that moms merit specific attention.

It’s also important to recognize that not all moms are alike. After all, racial and ethnic background often shape the way mothers raise children and navigate the challenges of motherhood. Hispanic moms are an especially important group to focus on given the Hispanic segment’s current and projected population and spending growth. Brands that capture Hispanic moms today not only win the moms—they’re also taking steps to capture their children’s attention down the road.

To help you better understand who moms are and how they act as consumers, we’ve compiled data from 2019 Collage Group syndicated research initiatives. We’ve broken the data down by moms vs. non-moms, and further by Hispanicity.

We start off by providing Cultural Attribute Profiles for each group. These profiles reveal how each group scores on important characteristics including: anxiety, cultural rootedness, exceptionalism, independence, adventurousness, and compliance. Then, we cover relationships and family dynamics. Afterwards, we take a deep dive on moms’ path to purchase, including social media influence, product reviews, word-of-mouth, and shopping behaviors. Lastly, our study concludes with a section on what holidays and nightlife are like for moms.

Our insights will help you execute campaigns that will win across the board with moms, and also ways that you can take a targeted approach to resonate with Hispanic moms.

Strategic takeaways from our research include:

  1. Moms are heavy social media users. They use it as a tool to gather product information, as well as to share their own experiences. Brands should have a strong social media presence and make product information accessible. This is also an opportunity to tap into the power of mom influencers to bolster brand awareness.
  2. Preserving culture is a point of concern for Hispanic Moms. They want to ensure their children appreciate their roots. Tap into cultural identity and family themes simultaneously. This intersection is where heritage is top-of-mind for Hispanic Moms.
  3. Moms are the primary drivers of planning, organizing, and spending for special occasions. They love celebrating holidays and making them special for their kids. Holiday activations should be targeted at moms. Highlight your product’s ability to support their holiday celebrations.

Superbowl LIV Halftime Proves Brands Can Use Hispanic Culture to Win the General Market

Superbowl LIV Halftime Proves Brands Can Use Hispanic Culture to Win the General Market
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Our post-Superbowl survey on the halftime show found that Hispanic, Black, and White consumers in the “New Wave” (ages 18-39) are receptive to Hispanic culture and messaging. This data further supports our claim that brands can win across this segment with a multicultural message.

Learn how these insights can be applied to your brand.

“I don’t know what [NFL commissioner] Goodell was thinking,” confided a colleague after reflecting on the Superbowl LIV halftime extravaganza featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. “Frankly, I’m shocked he signed off on that thing.”

Google “super bowl halftime controversy 2020” and you’ll get over six million results.  It seems a lot of people shared my friend’s view that Roger Goodell’s decision to feature the Latina superstars was suspect. But many more would likely champion the decision based on the massive positive press around JLo’s celebration of Puerto Rico, Shakira’s nod to her middle eastern heritage, and of course the spike in both artists’ record sales and online streams.

But anecdotal evidence only provides limited insight. To really understand what consumers thought about this culturally charged event, brands need data. So, we fielded a survey to 284 Hispanic, Black, and White consumers age 18-39.  We call this segment the “New Wave,” defined by an experience of growing up in an intrinsically diverse America. The findings from this survey and what they mean for brands are below.

First, and most importantly, the New Wave was exceptionally positive about the halftime show. In fact, almost 80% or more of each segment said they enjoyed the show.

When asked what they liked most, respondents repeatedly mentioned Latinas and Latin culture, as you see in the quotes below.  If Goodell’s intent was to ensure the NFL’s relevance to the 25 million Hispanic NFL fans who are part of America’s fastest growing demographic, then his decision to celebrate Hispanic culture and its growing influence on America was a no-brainer.

Second, almost 70% of women surveyed thought the halftime show empowered women. 23% of White women felt the show objectified women, while less than half that percentage of Hispanic and Black women felt the same. One caveat: Unacculturated Hispanics were slightly more likely (21%) to think the show objectified women.

Third, over 80% of Hispanics thought the show represented Hispanic culture well. And 60% of these individuals also agreed that it represented American culture well. What’s really interesting is that non-Hispanic segments were even more likely to hold this view. Over 80% of the Black respondents and 62% of the White respondents who thought the show represented Hispanic culture well also thought the show represented American culture well. These data reveal that a majority of people can view something as both strongly Hispanic and strongly American – these are not trade-offs.  And you don’t even have to be Hispanic to hold that view.

Our data indicate that the vast majority of the New Wave—18-39 year old Americans—did not find the show particularly controversial and were thrilled about the inclusion of superstar Latinas. This finding is further evidence that brands looking to take the next big step in marketing, which is to lead with multicultural, will be well-positioned to win with the New Wave. Your brand should follow the evidence and lean into the multicultural space to ensure you capture your share of this segment’s attention and loyalty.

Four Things You Need to Know About the U.S. Hispanic Population

Four Things You Need to Know About the U.S. Hispanic Population
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It’s 2019. At this point, no one should be surprised to learn that Hispanic consumers are a must-have for brands that want to maintain and grow market share. Even though the writing’s been on the wall for years, many brands are still struggling to connect with this segment in an authentic and natural manner. A first step to making this sort of connection is to understand who Hispanics are and what they value. Hover over the tiles below to reveal our insights.

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Hover to Reveal Insights

1.

Age

1.

In addition to being large, the Hispanic segment is also remarkably young, with a median age of 29 compared to 40 for the non-Hispanic population. Hispanic prominence in the U.S. will increase as this young segment ages and their education level and median income continue to rise.

3.

Heritage

3.

Although Hispanics firmly believe in keeping and cultivating their cultural heritage, they have had to adapt culturally as immigrants and minorities. As a result, duality is their reality—they navigate the different cultural worlds they inhabit in a way that is easy and authentic. This ability allows the segment to serve as integrators and amplifiers of culture.

2.

Language

2.

The Spanish language will be an important feature of the U.S. consumer landscape for the foreseeable future. After all, 72% of Hispanics speak Spanish at home, and 85% of Hispanic parents speak Spanish to their children.

4.

Family

4.

Hispanics place an emphasis on family as a source of one’s identity and protection against the hardships of life. They are loyal to family and support each other financially and morally. Family relations are grounded in respect and interdependence.

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How Brands can Engage During Hispanic Heritage Month

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How Brands can Engage During Hispanic Heritage Month
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Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15. It’s time to start thinking about what your brand can do to connect with these important consumers. Marketers wonder about their permission to play during heritage months and, should they choose to activate, whether consumers will respond positively.

Our latest research on Holidays and Occasions provides a deep dive into cultural and heritage months, along with 9 other occasions. Don’t miss exploring these compelling new insights and activation case studies.

Learn how this study can be applied to your brand.

KEY INSIGHTS FOR HISPANIC CONSUMERS

Hispanics celebrate their heritage month primarily through food. Pursue experiential marketing campaigns featuring food and/or educational events in the segments’ communities to highlight their value to your brand.

The most common reaction that Hispanics have to Hispanic Heritage Month activations is one of pride. During Hispanic Heritage Month, highlight historical contributions of Hispanics to America make consumers feel proud and included.

Related Content

Strategies for Activating the Hispanic Audience

As America’s cultural landscape continues to shift, brands and creative agencies need to adapt.