The festive Carnivale in Chicago’s West Loop was the setting for Symrise’s Sabor in America 2015, bringing together an expert panel of presenters to explore the Latin influence in today’s food market and specifically the role of Latino Millennials.

Emmanuel Laroche, Vice President Marketing & Consumer Insights, Global marketing Leader, Symrise NA introduced the audience to a growing demographic that will dominate the country in coming years and the kind of impact that their culinary choices will make in terms of buying power.

CLICK HERE to view Sabor in America: Hispanic Buying Power

In Chicago, 30 percent of the population is Latino and the city has the 5th largest Hispanic community in the U.S. While the population is projected to increase only 42% by the year 2050, the prediction for increase in the Hispanic population is 167%.

Did you know?

  • 23.67% of Millennials are Hispanic.
  • Latinos make up 17.1% of the US population.
  • The median age of US born Hispanics is 18.
  • The median age of foreign born Hispanics is 40.
  • US born Hispanics represent 64% of Hispanics.
  • If the US Hispanic market were its own country, it would rank 13th as a global economy.
  • Hispanics have emigrated to the US form over 20 countries.

Speaking on the snacking habits of US Latino Millennials were Esther Franklin and Danielle Cherry of Starcom MediaVest Group NY. Three key components of the cravings of this generation are that the expectation is for snacks to be authentic, diverse and social.

Authenticity comes from natural ingredients and fresh flavor, said Franklin. In seeking those genuine flavors of Latin culture, Millennials create a mindset of good health.

Diversity is about discovering new flavors, once unknown. As a group more likely to call themselves “foodies,” new flavors are embraced and contrasts are welcome. Think sweet/salty or sweet/spicy.

CLICK HERE to view Sabor in America: Finding Latino Flavor Influence in Different Locales

Latino Millennials are social, especially in snacking. “Millennials have linked eating to community,” said Cherry. Nostalgic flavors that take them back and remind them of their childhood or previous generations are those they want to share.

After all of the discussion on snacking, it was time for sampling. Among the items served during tasting break 1 were a cucumber mint aqua fresca and a watermelon tuna lollipop with ruby red grapefruit, sesame and pomegranate sauce and grenache vinegar that included Symrise Ruby Red Grapefruit Flavor.

Following the break, Terry Soto, President and CEO of About Marketing Solutions, Inc., covered food trends among Generations Y and Z. With 62% of Hispanics falling under age 35, there’s a huge market for food products that will allow them retain their cultural roots and enjoy fresh-tasting flavors within today’s busy lifestyles.

With so many countries contributing to today’s Latino Millennial population, the influences in flavors are many and the range of possibilities is enormous.

A second tasting break highlighted beverages, such as the Coco Loco Cocktail and La Classica Margarita complemented by Symrise Lollipops.

Finishing was renowned mixologist Junior Merino with a live demo celebrating a contradiction of tastes with a frozen chamoy treat paired with tamarind candy and mango shaved ice, called "chamoyada". Symrise team members from the sweet, savory and beverage business units introduced additional chamoyada products that translated the orginal treat into commerical applications including a chamoyada seasoning on potato chips, push pops and an alcoholic chamoyada RTD beverage.

A panel discussion concluded the seminar before a lively customer party got underway with Franklin, Cherry, Soto, Merino and Carniavale Chef Rodolfo Cuadros answering audience questions. The group discussed ingredient staples in Latino households and how brand loyalty and nostalgia play into desired flavors.

CLICK HERE to view Part 1 of our Sabor in America Chicago Wrap-up

CLICK HERE to view our Photo Recap of Sabor in America Chicago

VIEW PART 3: Taking a Cue on Taste Through New Latino Generations

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