While considering how to market to disparate Hispanic groups, retailers can add yet another shopper to the mix — the “foodie.”
“With the vast number of cooking shows now on TV, like those on the Food Network, it's not just the Hispanic consumers who have a craving for Hispanic food,” said Juan Enchinton, business manager of Hispanic innovation, United Supermarkets, Lubbock, Texas. “Consumers with other ethnic backgrounds do too.”
Maria Reyes, senior category manager, Hispanic, at specialty food distributor Tree of Life, sees the Anglo-foodie as a prime target for Hispanic marketing. Supermarkets shouldn't carve out an additional niche for this consumer, though. They can be lumped in with an existing group.
“Assimilated Hispanics and the typical American foodie are very similar,” said Reyes. “Both thrive on convenience and both buy a combination of mainstream and ethnic foods.”
The demand for items authentic to Hispanic and other cultures has risen so much in recent years that Tree of Life is developing a marketing program based on the trend. Reyes said she is putting together international sections for some retailers. Instead of just Mexican, the company's clients want Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Chilean and Colombian offerings, to name a few.
“This will be the focus for us in 2010,” said Reyes. “There are already enough foodies out there to support it and we expect to see even more in the future.”