2018 has been an eventful year for Hispanic grocery stores. We saw Bodega Latina expand to Texas with an acquisition of Fiesta Mart, Winn-Dixie’s Fresco Y Más concept grew in Florida, and Albertson’s El Rancho Supermercado officially entered the Houston market. Acquisitions and consolidations have been accelerating at a break neck pace the past several years and they will continue to in 2019. But what is driving this trend? Understanding the underlying drivers of these acquisitions and consolidations in the Hispanic grocery store space can help us see what the future of Hispanic grocery holds in 2019.
ThinkNow, a technology-driven cultural insights agency and the No. 1 provider of U.S. Hispanic samples, is increasing its reach into Latin America, expanding its Spanish language panel offerings to Argentina and Colombia. This further solidifies our dominant position in LatAm markets. In an industry that is consolidating based on value, ThinkNow offers access to major U.S. and LatAm markets that are Spanish speaking. ThinkNow has been operating panels in the U.S. and Mexico for eight years.
Strategic acquisitions can play a big role in corporate growth strategy. And recently, we’ve seen a number of them in the market research industry, especially in the panel sector. Since GfK Knowledge Network’s acquisition of Garcia Research’s Hispanic panel, Cada Cabeza, in 2010, there have been several large companies acquiring Hispanic panels to bolster their Hispanic sample offerings. Nielsen, Research Now, and most recently, Maru/Blue’s acquisition of the Hispanic panel, Tú Cuentas, just to name a few. So, what’s driving this growing interest in Hispanic panels?
There’s no doubt about it: the face of marketing has transformed over the last 20 years. Yet, for more than three decades, marketing to U.S. Hispanics has undergone little change; Spanish-language television still represents the bulk of U.S. Hispanic media spend, even though digital media use is now ubiquitous among Hispanics while television viewership is declining. There is a new study in the Journal of Cultural Marketing Strategy, “Nativity-based view: A new audience measurement standard that drives television return on investment for U.S. Hispanics” authored by Dr. Jake Beniflah, Brian Hughes, and myself, has revealed a major opportunity for brands to improve results when marketing to U.S.-born vs. foreign born Hispanics.
As the percentage of Hispanics who speak Spanish begin to decline and immigration slows, it begs the question among market researchers, “do I still need Spanish-dominant sample as part of my U.S. sample frames?” Well as researchers, we can’t answer the questions until we investigate the numbers, right? So, let’s dive in, starting with the facts. Hispanic Spanish Speaking Consumer Growth Trends The United States is now the world’s second-largest Spanish-speaking country after Mexico, according to a 2016 study published by Instituto Cervantes. In fact, of the roughly 60 million Hispanics living in the U.S., 41 million are Spanish dominant.
Game Changer: 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Goes Mobile Our national consumer study of soccer fans reveals how Hispanics engage with soccer on social media and how they plan to follow & cultivate the World Cup experience, how they will engage the World Cup and how receptive they are to social media advertising. Special guest, Hugo Balta, Senior Director of Hispanic Initiatives at ESPN, joins Mario X. Carrasco, Managing Partner at ThinkNow Research for the #ThinkNowMRX Podcast Series, to discuss the findings of the ThinkNow Hispanic Soccer Fan Study 2018.
Reaching and Connecting with U.S. Hispanic Affinity Soccer Fans on Facebook and Instagram There are less than 100 days before the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ and U.S. Hispanic fans are gearing up to be part of the action. Our new national consumer survey, ThinkNow Research: Hispanic Soccer Fan Study, found that 89% of U.S. Hispanics intend to watch the World Cup and they’re looking to engage online and on the go.
In 2017, consumer demand for diversity and inclusion ignited a watershed in the evolution of multicultural marketing and research. Global brands publicly touted their commitment to these ideals, as seen by change agents like Nike, with the launch of the first mainstream sports hijab and Disney Pixar, whose animated movie, Coco, based on the Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos, shattered the box office this holiday season.
Segmentation of the U.S. Hispanic population has evolved through the years as Hispanic marketing has gone from a novel idea to a lifeline among brands in desperate pursuit of new markets. Once driven primarily by language (Spanish-dominant to English-dominant), segmentation became more granular, looking closer at acculturation levels (less acculturated to more acculturated) to craft a more relevant marketing message. Both segmentation tools rely on a linear progression, or a movement from less to more, assuming all individuals move neatly across a predetermined spectrum.
“In the beginning there was Spanish, and that was good.” Marketing in Spanish in the U.S. may not seem like an innovation from our purview in 2017, but when the first recognized full service Hispanic advertising agency in the United States opened up in 1962 it was a paradigm-shifting marketing event. It was one of the first times national brands and companies marketed their goods and services in the U.S. using a language other than English.