Children greatly influence snack purchases. Hispanic households with one or more children under age 18 tend to eat more salty snacks. 76% of all Hispanic households with children claim to eat popcorn snacks, versus 64% of Hispanic households without children. Potato chips follow a similar trend – 84% of Hispanic households with one or more children under age 18 eat potato chips versus 76% in Hispanic households with no children. Another category, described as “mostly English,” reports consumption at a marked difference, indirectly reflecting the influence of children.
In the “Mostly English” speaking households, tortilla consumption rises to 73% compared to the figures cited above in Spanish speaking (49%) versus English speaking households consumption (57%). It’s similar with potato chip consumption in “Mostly English” households, where it rises to 80% compared to 66% to 69% comparison respectively cited as Spanish speaking and English speaking households. “Mostly English” Hispanic households have a broad exposure to media, both Spanish and English. In these intergenerational households, it’s likely that children are bilingual, switching from Spanish to English with frequency. In addition, they are influenced by their non-Hispanic friends at home and at play eating salted snack foods.
DID YOU KNOW? Tortilla chips outsell potato chips in the U.S.
Although Hispanic snack consumptions tends toward salty and savory categories, sweet snacks, most especially ice cream as the most preferred choice, are also consumed by Hispanics. 79% say they eat ice cream at least twice a month. It’s a particular favorite among Latinas who are the most likely to consume all kinds of sweet snacks regardless of language preferences in the household. Hispanic consumers tend to favor, in order, the following retail outlets: mass merchandisers, Hispanic supermarkets, and supermarkets. Across all segments, flavor preferences are the most important driver to purchase. 80% of salty/savory snack purchases are driven by those seeking their favorite flavor. 78% of Hispanics seek out brands they trust, and not surprisingly, 70% seek nutritious types of salty/savory fare.
The “Hispanic market” is not homogeneous and language preference in the household makes a difference as we have shown. The lower consumption of salty snacks in Spanish speaking households signals an opportunity. This market is likely to want snack foods with traditional Hispanic flavor profiles as well as those with more healthful perceptions; for example, Hispanic flavors such as lime, cilantro, or even fruit flavors. Outreach to this market, especially with the launch of a new flavor, needs to be well researched and planned as to segment, preferences, brand awareness and the nutritional perceptions of various market segments. The outreach needs to anticipate where the targeted customer is likely to shop. The results of a properly planned launch with supporting advertising and marketing could play big dividends in long-term loyalty.