In 2017, a few business media outlets reported U.S. retail sales were diminishing due to a decline in Hispanic consumer visits, driven mostly by the political environment and fear around the immigration debate. The perception was that a sizable number of Hispanics were shopping less because they were afraid of leaving their homes and risked being approached by immigration officials.
This story snowballed and had unfortunately put into motion a false sense of instability around the purchasing power of today’s Hispanic consumer – one that has lingered through the first half of this year. After all, on paper, the story seemed reasonable, mainly when it comes to the markets with a sizable number of immigrants like some of the markets in the Southwest region.
So, let’s set the record straight. Hispanic consumers in the total U.S. are spending, thriving and more powerful than ever. Grounded in data, a newly released Nielsen study called “Fact or Fiction – The Current State of Hispanic Market” conclusively shows that the narrative around the massive decline of Hispanic consumer purchasing power was fiction.
Within this new report, using data from thousands of retailers across the country, Nielsen was able to disprove the premise that the majority of Hispanics were buying less and bringing down sales in general. Here are some of the most exciting study’s findings:
- Hispanics’ spending is growing faster than non-Hispanic expenditure. Hispanics led CPG sales growth in 2017 with + 1.0% in $ change vs. a year ago, vs. only + 0.3% growth from Non-Hispanics. (per Nielsen Target Track, Total US xAOC, 52 weeks ending December 2017)
- In 2018 this trend continued with a + 1.8% increase in Hispanic spending YTD vs. +1.3% from Non-Hispanics, a 33% difference! (per Nielsen Target Track, Total US xAOC, YTD ending 4/28/2018)
- Out of 15 different departments within a regular retail store, 13 of them experienced growth from Hispanic consumers vs. only 8 that saw an increase from Non-Hispanic consumers. (per Nielsen Target Track, 37 markets, 52 w/e 4/28/18)
- In 11 of these 15 departments, sales growth with Hispanic consumers outpaced Non-Hispanic consumers’ sales. (per Nielsen Homescan, Total U.S., 52 weeks ending 4/21/18 vs YAGO)
- From a geographical standpoint, Nielsen tracked sales performance in 37 markets. In 76% of these markets, Hispanic consumers’ sales growth was equal or stronger than Non-Hispanic consumers’ sales. (per Nielsen Target Track & Homescan, Total U.S. xAOC, 52 weeks ending December 2017)