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Hispanic Consumers Outspend in Dried Veggies, Grains

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Hispanic consumers outspent the average American household by more than 90% on dried vegetable and grain purchases, and also lead five other categories, per a new study released today by Nielsen.

The report, Demo Drill Down: Dried Veggies/Grains, Ice Sales Skew to Hispanic-American Households, was compiled using Nielsen's Homescan consumer panel, which tracks the purchasing behaviors of households nationwide via a UPC scanning device. The data was drawn from research conducted between June 30, 2007 and June 28, 2008.

Aside from dried vegetables and grain (90%) and ice  (88%), Hispanic Americans also spent 75% more on baby food and 64% more on disposable diapers than the average consumer family.

Acculturated Hispanic Americans (those who speak some English at home and represent 10.8% of all U.S households) accounted for 20% of dried vegetable and grain product sales, per Nielsen (which owns Brandweek). Overall, Hispanic American households accounted for 18.9% of baby food product sales, 18.6% of baby needs items and 17.7% of disposable diaper sales.

The report also ranked the top 10 Hispanic American household goods purchase categories by dollar volume index:

1. Dried vegetables and grains (190)
2. Ice (188)
3. Baby food (175)
4. Baby needs (172)
5. Disposable diapers (164)
6. Haircare (144)
7. Family planning (143)
8. Women's fragrances (140)
9. Grooming aids (136)
10. Shelf-stable juices, drinks (133) 

Companies that are slow to embrace this exploding base of consumers are missing out on future sales and marketing potential, said Steve Moylan, multicultural expert and svp at The Research Intelligence Group, Fort Washington, Pa.

On the retail side, there are already changes taking place such as an increased emphasis on "bilingual point-of-sale signage and materials, and a better assortment of brands in sizes that make sense," said Rodolfo Rodriguez, who heads up multicultural marketing at food giant General Mills. "We've also seen retailers increase their assortment in the baby area because Hispanics tend to have larger family sizes and are driving growth in the baby market," he said. (General Mills, for instance, has increased spending on media targeted at the Hispanic population by "double digits," Rodriguez said.)