Sustainability Tops Hispanic Shoppers’ Lists

When selecting a supermarket within their community, Hispanic shoppers aren’t just looking for the closest in proximity or a recognizable name. They are looking for a retailer that aligns with their values. Clean stores, good prices, and a broad selection of products top the priority list, as well as the desire for retailers to act on a range of sustainability and social issues.

In the newest report from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America (CCRRC) called Sustainability and Food Retailing, consumers identifying as Hispanic fell mostly in line with other groups surveyed within the study.

Hispanic study participants indicated a high priority on recycling, limiting food waste, using reusable bags, and recycling or donating old clothing. Those same goals were also cited as important by white, African American, and Asian American shoppers.

Hispanic shoppers also placed a high priority on voting, buying American-made products, and supporting companies that provide employees with a livable wage and health care benefits.

While it is imperative that retailers consider changes, they can make to become more sustainable, it’s equally important to understand how they can help consumers achieve their own personal sustainability goals.

60% of consumers surveyed for the Sustainability and Food Retailing report indicated that it is important that food retailers help their local communities and employees.

Consumers surveyed for the Sustainability and Food Retailing report indicated that they felt the majority of their personal waste, such as non-recyclable packaging or uneaten food, comes from shopping at supermarkets. They also indicated that contributing to larger environmental issues through personal waste often leaves them with feelings of guilt.

Retailers can help combat these negative feelings by offering information on how to limit food waste, encouraging the use of reusable bags, and stocking different types of recyclable packaging.  different types of recyclable packaging.

Related Article: Four Big Food Companies Launch Sustainable Food Policy Alliance

For retailers serving the Hispanic community, the message from the study is clear: Shoppers want to see retailers actively supporting environmental issues, and they want those efforts well-communicated. That means calling attention to how stores support local food banks, reduce food waste or assist in recycling efforts.

As retailers begin to think about the long-term influence their sustainability efforts could have on customer loyalty, it’s important to factor in the next generation of shoppers: Gen Z. The Sustainability and Food Retailing report found that 56% of Gen Z consumers consider environmental sustainability most of the time when shopping. Compostable utensils, biodegradable bags, and having a section or aisle dedicated to sustainable products are all ways that retailers can help Gen Z feel proud of their personal impact.

The Sustainability and Food Retailing report is intended to serve as a resource for retailers to use as they build a plan to become more environmentally and socially responsible.

The study provides guidance to retailers, no matter how large the company or the available budget for sustainability efforts.

The conclusions of the Sustainability and Food Retailing report highlight good news for the entire industry, as many retailers are already engaged in the exact efforts for which shoppers are looking.

By implementing a concerted and well-communicated effort on sustainability, retailers may be able to make their supermarkets more attractive for potential employees in addition to potential shoppers.

For retailers that choose to implement sustainability-focused changes, there is a clear competitive advantage.

According to the Sustainability and Food Retailing report, consumers are willing to pay an average of 4% more at a food retailer that supports their community and the environment. Additionally, consumers are willing to travel up to 10.9 minutes out of their way to patronize a store that has a strong social impact.

The study findings make clear that Hispanic shoppers, along with all consumers, see the environment as an important issue and want to be part of the solution in partnership with local retailers.

To read the free study and learn more about the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council, please visit