5 Ways to Attract Hispanic C-Store Customers

Brett Dworski, Associate Editor

hispanic mother and daughter shopping

CHICAGO -- Hispanics spend more than $94 billion annually on consumer packaged goods (CPG), nearly a quarter of which is spent on general and refrigerated foods, according to research firm IRI’s new Hispanics and New Products report. Three of the top 10 pacesetter products—IRI's term for the best-selling new products in a category—sold to Hispanic consumers are snacking items, while all 10 are convenience-store staples in one way or another.

The demographic will account for more than half of the population growth in the United States by 2020, according to the report. This means their spending power will soar as well. IRI provides an understanding of Hispanics by examining the products they’re buying, purchase drivers and nuances in behavioral shifts.

Here are five insights on how retailers can target the Hispanic community …

Photo courtesy of bowdenimages. 

1. Continue new-product innovation

hispanic woman shopping

Hispanics are eager for product innovation. Twenty-nine percent of bilingual Hispanics consider themselves avid new-food product adopters, while a quarter of Spanish-speaking Hispanics agreed, according to IRI’s report. Only 23% of non-Hispanics said the same. Hispanics also showed more innovation interest than non-Hispanics in the beverage, personal/beauty care, home care, healthcare and pet care categories, according to the report.

Photo courtesy of Antonio_Diaz. 

2. Make it healthy…

hispanic mother and daughter shopping

Hispanics crave foods with natural, organic, herbal or holistic attributes, according to the report. Twenty-eight percent of these consumers said natural ingredients play a role when considering new food and beverage products, compared to 21% of non-Hispanics. Moreover, 36% of Spanish-speaking Hispanics said the presence of vitamins and minerals is important when purchasing new food and beverage items, the highest percentage of all surveyed demographics.

Photo courtesy of monkeybusinessimages. 

3. … without sacrificing indulgence

family shopping

Healthy eating is important to Hispanics, but only without sacrificing indulgent occasions, the report says. Thirty-six percent of Hispanic consumers said they eat healthy half of the time but eat whatever they want the other half. The same percentage of Hispanic consumers also said they eat healthy 80% of the time and indulge the other 20%.

Photo courtesy of Antonio_Diaz. 

4. Identify high-potential markets

hispanic family shopping

Recognizing where Hispanic consumers live and shop may increase engagement for retailers. For instance, IRI compiled the top markets for Halo Top ice cream, the top-selling pacemaker product among Hispanic consumers with household revenues averaging less than $200,000. The markets included Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Minnesota, Maryland, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. This data gives retailers and marketers an up-close look at where their top consumers are for each product and allows them to distribute to these areas accordingly.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

5. Pinpoint attitudes and behaviors that drive purchases

halo top

A balanced diet and regular exercise enables Halo Top households to maintain a healthy lifestyle, according to the report. Of those target Halo Top households, 63% said they work at eating healthfully and maintaining a balanced diet, while 50% said they exercise regularly.

Here are the top food and beverage pacesetters among Hispanics, according to IRI:

  1. Halo Top
  2. Hillshire Snacking
  3. Chobani Drinks
  4. Good Thins 
  5. Oscar Mayer Natural
  6. Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee
  7. Cracker Barrel Macaroni & Cheese
  8. Birds Eye Steamfresh Veggie Made
  9. Smartmade by Smart Ones 
  10. Powerade X ION4