The Hispanic community is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the US, spending more than US$94.7 billion on CPG products annually. Because Hispanics are one of the most sought-after ethnic groups in the retail grocery market, researchers at IRI delved deeper into 2017's most successful CPG launches to better understand Hispanics and New Product Pacesetters. This article is copyright 2018 The Best Customer Guide.

CPG marketers have a great opportunity to capture more shopping dollars from Hispanic consumers, especially if they understand some key nuances in their attitudes and preferences regarding new products, compared to those of the general consumer population.

While Hispanic buying power is concentrated in select markets, including New Mexico, Texas, California, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, New Jersey, New York and Illinois, their interest in new products is spread across retail departments. Among those consumers who consider themselves avid new product adopters, there is a particular interest in the following departments (English-speaking Hispanics, bilingual Hispanics, Spanish-speaking Hispanics and non-Hispanics):

  • Food
    26%, 29%, 25%, 23%
  • Beverage
    19%, 20%, 13%, 16%
  • Beauty/Personal Care
    19%, 24%, 29%, 12%
  • Home Care
    13%, 20%, 29%, 11%
  • Health Care
    10%, 13%, 20%, 9%
  • Pet Care
    9%, 8%, 9%, 6%

Based on the most successful CPG launches in the 2017 New Product Pacesetters report, IRI's Consumer and Shopper Insights Advantage/Hispanic Specialty Panel uncovered the top-selling food and beverage products for Hispanic consumers:

  1. Halo Top
  2. Hillshire
  3. Chobani
  5. Oscar Mayer Natural
  6. Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee
  7. Cracker Barrel Macaroni & Cheese
  8. Birds Eye Steamfresh Veggie Made
  9. SMARTMADE by Smart Ones

The mix of healthy and indulgent products found in the top-10 ranking truly reflects Hispanics' attitudes toward eating. For instance, 36% of Hispanics say they eat healthy half of the time and eat whatever they want the other half. An additional 36% of Hispanic consumers say they eat healthy 80% of the time and allow for indulgences 20% of the time. So, moderation is the key for most Hispanics.

The top healthy eating considerations vary significantly across Hispanic sectors (English-speaking Hispanics, bilingual Hispanics, Spanish-speaking Hispanics and non-Hispanics):

  • Avoiding processed foods
    58%, 54%, 31%, 56%
  • The right mix of different types of food
    44%, 36%, 36%, 42%
  • Natural foods
    30%, 41%, 24%, 23%
  • Organic foods
    20%, 19%, 40%, 15%
  • Include higher-calorie treats in moderation
    10%, 6%, 21%, 11%

Forty percent of Pacesetter brands that hit the mark with Hispanics tout "more natural", "organic", "herbal", or "holistic" attributes, which also helped shape the top-10 non-food ranking:

  1. Fancy Feast Medleys
  2. Garnier(R) Whole Blends
  3. Carol's Daughter
  4. Herbal Essences Bio:Renew
  5. Copper Chef
  6. GLISS Hair Repair
  7. Dove Nutritive Solutions
  8. Dentalife
  9. Red Copper
  10. OxiClean HD

Hispanics are also looking for new non-food products that provide new health benefits and faster results. Key considerations for new products include (English-speaking Hispanics, bilingual Hispanics, Spanish-speaking Hispanics and non-Hispanics):

  • Offers longer-lasting relief compared to existing alternatives
    31%, 28%, 32%, 32%
  • Offers faster relief than existing products
    30%, 25%, 14%, 30%
  • Treats multiple symptoms
    32%, 33%, 29%, 27%
  • Appeals to many people in my household
    27%, 28%, 25%, 21%
  • Offers new health benefits
    26%, 28%, 35%, 21%

"By 2020, Hispanics will account for over half of the population growth in the United States, and their spending power will also increase significantly," said Susan Viamari, vice president of Thought Leadership for IRI.

"Hispanics are a highly diverse group, based on factors such as age, income, media preferences and language preference - English-preferred, bilingual or Spanish-preferred," said Staci Covkin, principal of Consumer and Shopper Marketing for IRI. "Attracting Hispanics requires an understanding of these language preferences, along with their digital and social preferences, to quickly see a huge opportunity for CPG across food, beauty, home and health care brands. Aligning a new product launch with the needs of Hispanic shoppers is rapidly becoming a critical success factor for sustained CPG and retail growth, so improved insights and activation of these shoppers can result in significant sales and market share uplift."