Hispanics make up the largest ethnic minority group in the United States, and those numbers continue to grow. With a buying power totaling $1.4 trillion, the Hispanic consumer carries significant economic clout. To benefit from this demographic, the green industry needs to ditch the heavy Caucasian influence on the hobby of gardening and make it multicultural.
According to Simmons Research, in 2017, 17.4 percent of Americans aged 6 years and older identified as Hispanic or Latino, up from 15.3 percent in 2010. The Hispanic population is increasing across all age groups, with nearly a quarter of Americans age 6 to 34 today being Hispanic, compared with about 10 percent among those age 50 and older. This points to the continued growth and influence of this segment on the American economy.
In 2016, U.S. Hispanic buying power was larger than the gross domestic product of Mexico, according to “The Multicultural Economy,” a report from the University of Georgia Terry College of Business published by the Selig Center for Economic Growth.
“As America grows more diverse, minority groups are reaping great economic dividends, and business owners would do well to pay attention,” says Jeff Humphreys, director of the Selig Center. “Minority buying power is growing at a faster pace than the white consumer market for a number of reasons, such as demographics, increases in educational attainment and entrepreneurial activity.”
The report states that more than one in six Americans claims Hispanic origin, which helps explain rapid gains over the past few years. From a buying power estimate of $495 billion in 2000, that number has jumped 181 percent to $1.4 trillion in 2016. That accounts for nearly 10 percent of total U.S. buying power in 2016 and means the U.S. Hispanic market is larger than the GDP of Mexico and bigger than the economies of all but 14 countries.
The report provides national buying power estimates for seven selected groups of Hispanic consumers, with Mexican-Americans representing the largest group and accounting for $797 billion worth of buying power, followed by Puerto Ricans, who account for $146 billion.
While each of these subset groups has a distinct purchasing trend, their growth has some things in common, Humphreys says.
“The most important trend in favor of Hispanic buying power growth is favorable demographics,” he adds. “The Hispanic population is growing much more rapidly than the total population, thanks to natural increases and strong immigration. The population is also increasingly better educated and has increased its entrepreneurial activity.”
U.S. Hispanic buying power is more geographically concentrated than that of non-Hispanics. In 2016, California alone accounted for 26 percent of Hispanic buying power, and just 10 states accounted for 78 percent. The states with the largest Hispanic markets in 2016 were California with $359 billion, Texas with $269 billion, Florida with $144 billion, and New York with $101 billion. New Mexico, Texas, and California had the highest Hispanic shares of buying power with 33 percent, 22 percent and 20 percent respectively, according to Nielsen.
Make the connection
Businesses and brands willing to benefit from this demographics’ spending power must design ads that align with their values, culture and purchasing behavior.
To connect with the U.S. Hispanic population, businesses are launching multiethnic or multiracial marketing campaigns targeted at the bilingual, Latino and English-speaking community, according to
- An average Hispanic household is usually young and large—made up of at least 2 generations i.e. nuclear family, grandparents, cousins—will spend at least $96 daily compared to $95 or below spent by non-Hispanic families (i.e. Whites, African-Americans, Asians).
- Hispanics spend more time online surfing the web socializing, buying and viewing videos on their phones and tablets. This means they are exposed to more mobile ads and online content which turn into leads and higher site traffic.
- Since Hispanics spend more time exposed to ads, they are easily influenced by compelling advertisements. This means they buy more stuff online than other races in the U.S. Online store owners or service providers interested in having increased Hispanic patronage should consider creating a multilingual site.
- If you want devoted Latino or Hispanic customers, communicate with them in Spanish, create your product ads in Spanish and provide Spanish customer service. Hispanics are proud of their
heritage,and are naturally drawn to brands that promote their culture—even third-generation U.S. Hispanics.
Nielsen’s “Latina 2.0” reports that Hispanic women are strongly influenced by celebrities, designers, trends
To truly win over the Hispanic consumer, marketing ads should have an authentic appeal to the Hispanic consumer’s unique behaviors and tastes by employing
Understanding language preferences will help businesses and brands create better marketing campaigns. According to Simmons Research, among all Hispanics there is about an even split between the percentage who prefer to speak mostly or only English versus only or mostly Spanish. However, when we look at Hispanics by generation, those born outside the United States (first generation) favor speaking Spanish by a wide margin. Among second-generation Hispanics, those born in the United States to at least one foreign-born parent, a clear majority prefer to speak either all or mostly in English. Even though 48 percent of third-generation Hispanics, those born in the United States to American-born parents, say they prefer to speak only in English, the remainder
Advertising in Spanish matters, even among English-dominant Hispanics, reports Simmons Research. Hispanics, even many English-dominant Hispanics, still have emotional ties to the Spanish language that carry over to companies that advertise in Spanish. For instance, 49 percent of Spanish-dominant Hispanics and 27 percent of English-dominant Hispanics say, “When I hear a company advertise in Spanish, it makes me feel like they respect my heritage and want my business.” Spanish-language advertising can drive purchase decisions and brand loyalty for this group.
Bridget Behe, professor of horticulture at Michigan State University, conducted research about 10 years ago that examined the role of ethnicity on gardening purchases and satisfaction. The research revealed that a greater percentage of Asians participated in gardening with fruits, vegetables
Since that research was completed, Behe has witnessed the continued impact and influence that Hispanics and their subcultures have had on American culture.
“It only takes some simple research to understand some key demographics in your own backyard,” she says. “Businesses can use American
She cautions not to single anyone out, but instead be welcoming and understanding with your marketing message.
“For far too long gardening has been a Caucasian activity. And expanding your marketing message shouldn’t end with the Hispanic community. The green industry could and should be serving other ethnic communities,” she says.
Behe’s research, “Evaluating the Role of Ethnicity on Gardening Purchases and Satisfaction” can be found in HortScience Vol. 42(2), April 2007.
Chart information: Refuel Agency
The female consumer
The Hispanic female population in the U.S. is not only expanding in
As the Hispanic female population grows rapidly in many communities across the U.S., their impact and influence
At 3.23 people per household, Hispanics have the largest average household size of any ethnic or racial group in the nation, meaning they are appealing consumer targets for many industries. In comparison, non-Hispanic white households have an average size of 2.30, Asian households have 2.92, black households have 2.47, and the nation, as a whole, has 2.49. Although the average Hispanic household is larger, more likely to be multigenerational and more likely to contain a married couple, the average household income, is at just over $65,000 per year. However, the average Hispanic household income has grown 29 percent since 2005, slightly ahead of the national average. One reason for the lower household income is that Hispanics are relatively younger than other ethnic and racial segments, so for the majority, their careers are still in the growth phase, according to Nielsen.