In this article a brief outline on Hispanic consumers is presented, followed by a description of the various types of Latina consumers (women) that you will find when you market to Hispanics. This information can help you reach them much more effectively.
While Hispanics share the Spanish language and / or some type of Latin roots, their characteristics vary according to their acculturation level or the extent to which they identify with the United States. We can actually talk about three very specific groups of Hispanics: non-acculturalized, bicultural and acculturated.
Hispanic consumers in general
1. Bicultural Hispanics:
This group refers to Latinos who can balance their Hispanic roots together with their American customs and identities. English is their language just as much as Spanish, and they have taken advantage of their bicultural identities so that they benefit from both cultures. In fact, they often serve as a bridge between Americans and those who are just beginning the acculturation process.
2. Non-Acculturalized Hispanics:
Latinos in this group have strong emotional ties to their native countries. They feel a great attachment to the Spanish language and they may be in the process of learning English.
3. Acculturated Hispanics:
Members of this group are fully integrated into American culture. Most do not speak Spanish; if they do, they may speak it with some difficulty. They keep few Hispanic traditions, and those are reserved for the most private moments.
Female Latina consumers in particular
They miss their home country and maintain their eating and buying habits. They look for traditional products that make them feel closer to their countries (salsa molcajeteada, pupusas, arepas, etc.).
They prefer fresh food but do use some processed products such as canned goods.
Non-Acculturated Female Latina Buying Choices:
They have an affinity for nostalgia items that remind them of their native countries. They make emotional decisions about what country the product comes from.
Non-Acculturalized Female Latina Favorite Purchasing Channel:
Latino markets: they look for brands and original ingredients from their countries.
2. Acculturated Hispanic Women:
They seek practical products that will save time (packaged, frozen, etc.). They integrate products from different cultures in order to prepare foods with the flavors they enjoy. Most often the result is fusion cuisine made not just from Hispanic and American ingredients, but from other continents as well.
Acculturated Female Latina Buying Choices:
They focus on the functional attributes of the product (practical packaging, brand equity, reusable packaging, etc.).
Acculturated Female Latina Favorite Channel:
The supermarket: they look for convenience and use a variety of brands from different parts of the world.
3. Bicultural Latina Consumers:
They look for both Hispanic and American products. The products they select vary according to whether or not they are convenient. They may prepare everything from scratch or they may consume prepared foods.
Bicultural Latina Buying Choices:
It depends upon the occasion and how much time they have. For their regular daily meals, they tend towards practicality (prepackaged products). For special events, they have an appeal for nostalgia items, preparing foods from their country of origin.
Bicultural Latina Favorite Channel:
They use supermarkets as well as Latino markets or groceries. Both channels are relevant to them. They use supermarkets for daily meals; for special occasions, they to Latino markets to buy traditional products from their country.
For information on relevant cultural trends in the US, visit the Pew Research Center website at: www.pewresearch.org/.