‘Super group’ of multicultural consumers changing US culture — Nielsen

/ 12:27 AM March 20, 2015


NEW YORK CITY — With spending by multicultural consumers amounting to $3.4 trillion today, this “super consumer” group is having a tremendous impact on U.S. mainstream culture, according to a Nielsen report released yesterday, March 18.


The report, “The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers,” identifies multicultural consumers as the most dynamic and fasting growing segment of the U.S. consumer economy. 

“The report highlights the growing influence that African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic groups and their shopping behaviors have on redefining the consumer market,” says Vanna Tran, senior manager of Multicultural Growth and Strategy, Nielsen.


“By understanding and investing in these audiences, our partners can continue to future-proof their businesses and stay relevant as this segment continues to shift from a niche to multicultural mainstream opportunity,” Tran added.

The report identifies multicultural “Super Consumers” as the top 10 percent of households who drive at least 30 percent of sales, 40 percent of growth and 50 percent of profits of any consumer product category.

The report suggests that by understanding the cultural essence that drives multicultural super consumer behavior today, marketers and advertisers can better understand future market trends.

The new mainstream

Multicultural consumers are younger, in their prime and already make up 38 percent of the U.S. population.

Expected to become the numerical majority by 2044, 21 of the top 25 most-populated counties in the United States are already more than 50 percent multicultural.

Knowing the cultural appeal of a brand is critical to marketers, as multicultural populations can vary widely even within metropolitan areas. The combination of majority multicultural geographies and high levels of interethnic proximity magnifies the need for ethnic and cross-cultural marketing.


Super consumers buying habits

Multicultural consumers comprise a disproportionate share of many categories, such as dairy, baby food and diapers, laundry supplies and detergents, school supplies, and other family goods.

Of 126 grocery store categories reviewed, 45 categories (36 percent) over-index in total rate of spending for all multicultural consumers compared to non-multiculturals. These attitudes and behaviors demonstrate cultural and behavioral traits unique to the various ethnicities.

The findings show Asian Americans are more likely to eat organic foods (29 percent). Cultural identity is very important to African- Americans (78 percent) and Hispanics (71 percent), and social causes are particularly meaningful to Hispanics (43 percent).

Multicultural Super Consumers can heavily influence non-multicultural consumers in “Super Geo” areas — geographies with a higher concentration of Super Consumers. Proximity to other cultures and the sharing of cultural influences, attitudes, and behaviors in Super Geo clusters magnify the multicultural opportunity.

Despite the cultural sharing taking place in the U.S. today, it is critical to understand the nuances and preferences of each individual consumer.

Culturally driven behaviors

Multicultural consumers take on an ambicultural identity — the ability and willingness to function competently in two cultures, which allows many multicultural consumers to simultaneously maintain their cultural heritage and see themselves as equally American, says the report.

Multicultural consumers gravitate to brands, products and activities that reinforce their cultural roots, and these behaviors are affecting the purchasing behavior of non-multicultural consumers, too. For example, while multicultural consumers represent 53 percent of hot sauce Super Consumers, the category has grown beyond it, becoming a mainstream condiment.

Just as soul food, sushi, tacos, pizza and other once-ethnic foods have become as ubiquitous as apple pie and hot dogs, the traditions, attitudes and shopping behaviors of multicultural consumers are expanding the multicultural market opportunity.

These multicultural Super Consumer categories have already experienced the future where many categories are likely to follow. Understanding how purchase behaviors are driven by multicultural consumer values, lifestyles, tastes and preferences is the key to total market growth.

To download a copy of the full report, please visit Nielsen’s website at www.nielsen.com.

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TAGS: “The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers, ” multicultural consumers, market US trends, Nielsen, US consumer behaviors, US consumer economy, US consumer trends
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