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Multicultural consumers are the most dynamic and fastest growing segment of the U.S. consumer economy, according to a recent report by measurement giant Nielsen.
The report entitled The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers shows that African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics now have a combined spending power of $3.4 trillion.
What’s more, the nation’s three largest multicultural groups have tremendous impact and influence on mainstream culture, influencing attitudes and shopping behaviors across all sectors of society.
In many product categories these minorities are “super consumers,” states Nielsen’s first ever-multicultural “super consumer” report published last month. Super consumers refers to 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 Multicultural Edge builds on the previous series of analytic reports on minority consumers and illustrates why companies should consider multicultural consumers as the cornerstone of today’s successful marketing strategies.
“Currently there are about 120 million of us [multicultural consumers] making about 38 percent of the U.S. population,” Monica Gil, senior vice president and general manager of Multicultural Growth and Strategy, Nielsen, said in an interview with UrbanGeekz. This collective buying power will only increase with projections that minorities will be the majority in America by 2040, she adds.
One of the many revealing insights from the report includes findings that multicultural consumers gravitate towards brands and products that reinforce their cultural roots and heritage.
“Cultural roots is a driving factor, ” said Gil. “The world is changing prominently and it’s forcing companies of all sorts to change even their most abiding assumptions about the way they do business.”
Media executives who were once hesitant to feature multicultural content in mainstream shows are now using cutting edge content to generate buzz and attract mass audiences.
One example the report used of media executives adding multicultural content to mainstream television is Fox’s record-breaking Empire. With Empire, executive producers created a show that attracted a critical mass of viewers from across every race.
In fact, this music-industry drama, with a predominately African American cast, centers on a successful music and entertainment industry player, addressing controversial topics and ethnic identity in American history.
While cultural connection was a major drive in shopping behavior, the report also found that purchase behaviors are driven by multicultural consumer values, lifestyles, tastes and preferences.
In addition, multicultural consumers are product enthusiasts. They remain loyal and committed to brands and opt out of purchasing any other brand.
The top items on the list are Asian noodles amongst Asian-Americans, ethnic hair and beauty products amongst African-Americans and dried vegetables and grains for Hispanics.
Multicultural consumers share many categories such as diapers, baby food, dairy products, laundry supplies and detergents, along with a host of other goods. Hot sauce was ranked the second most purchased product amongst African Americans and Hispanics.
Minority consumers are tastemakers and trendsetters. As multicultural consumers continue to grow in the U.S. mainstream, cross-cultural influence and culture sustainability will play a key role in their evolving identities and social influence.
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.
Follow Phebe Dowels on Twitter@PhebeDowels