Hispanics and the Beauty Industry

In the beauty industry their products attract all kinds of people. In the beauty department there is a variety of products that will help people look and feel better according to their age and needs.

They range from products that meet basic needs like shampoo to keep hair clean or cream to keep skin hydrated, to the highly sophisticated, such as the most extravagant hair dye or nail polish that will keep the customer’s look in tune with the season.

The beauty shelves have something for everyone. But for Hispanics, they hold a special attraction.

However, not all Hispanics are alike. They are motivated by different cultural mindset and have different attitudes and beliefs toward beauty.

One factor driving these differences is biculturalism. This term is complex and goes beyond the concept of speaking two languages.

Hispanics Drive the Growth of the Beauty Industry

Hispanics are clearly driving the growth of the beauty industry. So what are the factors behind this trend? Some factors include the Hispanic population’s size and its increasing purchasing power, its youth, and cultural influences:

  •  According to the US Population Census, approximately 56 million Hispanics currently live in this country, representing 17.6% of the total population. This number is linked to its important purchasing power of $ 1.3 trillion, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth.
  • In addition, these consumers are young. US Hispanics have an average age of 27, compared with 42 for white non-Hispanics, 35 for Asian Americans, and 32 for African Americans. The result?  Hispanics have a longer period of actual buying power.
  • In the Hispanic culture there is a clear penchant for beauty products. The proof lies in the fact that 7 of the 10 major categories of non-food products belong to the health and beauty department: fragrances, hair care, diapers, men’s toiletries, cosmetics, deodorants and sanitary protection.

Hispanics: Differences by Sub-Segments

Not all Hispanics are the same. They are motivated by different values.

Given the size and diversity of this demographic, it’s no surprise that there are different sub-segments. And since Hispanics are not all the same, they don’t buy the same things. They are motivated by different values and affinities to the Hispanic culture. Consequently, they differ in their attitudes and beliefs towards beauty.

In collaboration with Culturati, Nielsen has defined four segments within this demographic:

Latinistas (culturally Hispanic)

Traditional and focused on the Hispanic culture. One third of this segment belongs to the second or third generation of Hispanics in the US. More than half prefer to speak Spanish, but they can speak English if needed.

Heritage Keepers (bicultural)

Somewhat progressive. They focus on preserving their cultural heritage. The majority (86%) are first-generation Hispanic and prefer to speak in Spanish.

Related: Hispanic Consumers: A Rising Market

Savvy Blenders (bicultural)

Very progressive. They promote diversity, focusing as much on the preservation of their cultural heritage as they do on the mixture of the two cultures. They are bilingual and their language preference is situational. This segment has a strong component of second-generation Hispanics (49%). However, it also contains 29% of the first generation and 22% of the third.

Ameri-Fans (culturally US)

Progressive with a very dilute Hispanic heritage and very similar to the average consumer. The majority (82%) belongs to the second and third generation and prefers to speak English.

All these segments significantly invest in cosmetics. However, once Hispanics adopt more progressive values, they become more sophisticated in their decisions and use more specialty products. For example, Savvy Blenders and Ameri-Fans use more products, discovering greater benefits in combining different products with specific benefits, instead of using one multi-purpose product. This segment is also more open to innovations and spends more time researching products before going to the store. This gives them additional tools to identify “niche” products and learn about the benefits they provide.

This difference in purchasing products by segments could result in significant opportunities for players in the beauty industry. Companies in the beauty industry  who demonstrate a greater understanding of the factors that drive the buying behaviors of each segment can boost their sales growth.