Hispanics Are Key Influence on Consumer Eating Trends

May 22, 2015 by No Comments

Grilled BBQ T-Bone Steak
The U.S. is changing the way it eats. Several studies have found that where Americans are eating has been evolving as well. According to the latest report from The NPD Group, a global information company, the growing influence of Hispanics on other demographics is one of the main factors driving the shift in what and how consumers eat.

CBS reported that the majority of families with children under the age of 18 (46%) ate dinner together every night of the week in 1990, but by 2005, only 39% did. That year, 43% of families cooked six or seven nights of the week, including 31% who cooked at home every night.

In 2011, a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 58% of American adults now say they are dining out at least once a week. In the CBS report from six years before, 52% of Americans were found to eat out at restaurants at least once a week.

Now, however, it seems that the growing U.S. Hispanic population is starting to have an influence on consumer eating trends. Hispanics’ per capita visits to restaurants and other foodservice outlets increased by 4% last year compared to a 1% decline in visits by non-Hispanics, according to NPD’s CREST report.

Most interestingly, the report found that the average U.S. Hispanic consumer prefers quick service restaurants more than non-Hispanic consumers, a trend that’s already had an effect on the market.
Restaurant chains have begun making stronger efforts to reach this increasingly influential demographic. In an effort to market towards Hispanics, pizza chain Papa John’s expanded its 24/7 online ordering capabilities to include a Spanish language website back in 2006, and then increased spending on Spanish language TV ads 13% in 2014.

Consequently, the pizza chain’s Hispanic sales grew a staggering 43%, traffic rose 18%, the average ticket went up $1.50, and the amount of items per order increased from 2.07 to 2.25, according to the NPD report. In other words, marketing towards the Hispanic community paid off.

“We put a Spanish-language strategy in place, but the message hasn’t had to change,” said a statement from John Schnatter, Papa John’s Chief Executive Officer. “Papa John’s goal of bringing family and friends together resonates with Hispanics who are very focused on getting together with family. Similarly, it wasn’t necessary to change any of our menu items; we just needed to communicate to Hispanics in a way they understood in order to build their confidence in the Papa John’s brand.”

The real question now is whether or not other brands will shift their marketing focuses, or risk facing declining profits to the changing consumer landscape.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.