As the U.S. Hispanic population continues to grow in size and influence, so too does this its buying patterns and behaviors, according to the 5th Edition of “The Why? Behind The Buy” U.S. Hispanic shopper study.

The study, produced by Acosta, Jacksonville, Fla., and Univision Communications Inc. (UCI), Los Angeles, provides insights into how consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands and retailers can leverage to better appeal to and connect with this important shopper segment. 

“Data clearly shows Hispanics are the driving force behind sales growth across many key grocery categories, but the bigger challenge is to look more intently at Hispanic shoppers’ path to purchase to identify their specific attitudes and behaviors,” says Marianne Quinlan-Sacksteder, director of insights, Acosta. 

“At its roots, Hispanic culture is vibrant, engaging and community-centric, and we are seeing those same characteristics manifest themselves in the way U.S. Hispanics approach grocery shopping,” adds Liz Sanderson, vice president, strategy and insights, Univision Communications. “For Hispanic shoppers, it’s about far more than bringing home food to feed the family; it’s an opportunity to spend time with loved ones while exploring and experiencing something new.”

The study reveals: 

  • Shopping is an enjoyable social experience for Hispanics. In fact, Hispanic shoppers enjoy grocery shopping significantly more than their U.S. counterparts, in part, because they consider the experience a social endeavor. 
  • 68% of Hispanic shoppers — and an even higher 7 in 10 Hispanic Millennials — say they enjoy grocery shopping vs. 59% of total U.S. shoppers.
  • While 39% of U.S. shoppers report shopping alone, 79% of Hispanic shoppers go grocery shopping with someone else, such as a spouse, child or friend. 88% percent of Hispanic Millennials do the same, making them the most likely of all the generations to go grocery shopping with companions. 
  • More Hispanic shoppers indicated they enjoyed shopping many of the departments found in the perimeter of the store, including the bakery, fresh meat, service deli counter, fresh produce and prepared foods sections. 
  • Hispanic shoppers are highly engaged in store and digitally along the path to purchase. With a positive outlook, Hispanic shoppers are more interactive and take better advantage of opportunities to enhance their experience before, while and after grocery shopping.  
  • Hispanic shoppers are utilizing their stores’ special departments, services and areas more than total U.S. shoppers:
    • 38% of U.S. Hispanic shoppers use the in-store cafeteria area for eating ready-to-go foods vs. 27% of total U.S. shoppers.
    • 34% use the coffee bar or in-store coffeehouse, a full 10% more than total U.S. shoppers. 
    • 22% participate in cooking demonstrations or lessons vs. 16% of total U.S. shoppers.  
  • Significantly more Hispanic shoppers’ purchases are often impacted by in-store merchandising and promotions:
    • 26% of U.S. Hispanic shoppers indicate that coupons available at the shelf impact their purchase decision vs. 21% of total U.S. shoppers.
    • 18% indicate that product tastings or demonstrations influence what they bought vs. 11% of total U.S. shoppers. 
  • Hispanic shoppers are more engaged than U.S. shoppers with many digital tools, including social media along the grocery path to purchase.
    • 33% of U.S. Hispanic shoppers research a new grocery item online vs. 22% of total U.S. shoppers.
    • 35% of U.S. Hispanic shoppers read their grocery retailer’s digital circular vs. 30% of total U.S. shoppers.
    • 32% of U.S. Hispanic shoppers sign up for contests and sweepstakes after shopping vs. 21% of total U.S. shoppers.

The study was produced via Acosta’s proprietary Shopper F1rst survey in November-December 2015.