The Hispanic Market in the United States is not only growing in size, but it is influencing the way America eats, drinks and thinks.

According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the U.S. Hispanic population will grow by 33 percent from 2007 to 2017, fueled not by immigration, but by the rise in births. There are 53 million Hispanics living in the United States, making it our largest single ethnic group. This segment of our population had a 2012 buying power exceeding $1.2 trillion.

Food Business News (December 2012), projects that by 2017, Hispanic food and beverage purchases will top $10.7 billion; astonishingly, tortillas are outselling pasta, bagels, croissants, hotdog and hamburger buns.

Snack World magazine’s state of the industry report (May 2012) showed the “Mexican Sauce” category exceeded $1 billion in sales, with salsa sales at a whopping $767 million, a rise of 0.6 percent over 2011. This seemingly flat performance is belied by the fact that the salsa market showed a remarkable recovery in 2011 over 2010 of 4.2 percent. Most mainstream grocers have established Hispanic food sections and integrated within produce sections offerings such as mangoes, plantains and sugarcane. We have even witnessed an explosion in the consumption of Hispanic-influenced, alcoholic beverages. KOMONews.com and other sources reported (October 17, 2013), “In 2006, nearly 107 million of liters of tequila were exported to the U.S., a 23 percent increase over 2005.”

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