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Trends and Insight

New White Paper by Energy BBDO Reveals Unique Opportunity for Brands to Forge Bonds with Hispanic Shoppers

Study prompted by a surge in anti-immigration rhetoric and predictions of a Hispanic spending slowdown

New White Paper by Energy BBDO Reveals Unique Opportunity for Brands to Forge Bonds with Hispanic Shoppers

Today, Energy BBDO unveils Forging a Bond with Hispanic Consumers: How to Unlock Brand Potential in a Challenging Political Environment—a white paper based on a first-of-its-kind proprietary study detailing U.S. Hispanic Consumerism in today’s challenging political environment.  
 
The study was prompted by a surge in anti-immigration rhetoric and predictions of a Hispanic spending slowdown tied to the new government administration taking office. Before 2016, Hispanic sales were trending above general market. But following the election, Nielsen tracking showed Hispanics trending 1 to 2 points below the general market. People speculated that the dynamic, and growing, US Hispanic consumer segment was staying home more and shopping less. In July of 2017, Bloomberg and other media outlets reported that one of the top 10 retailers in the U.S. saw a decline in Hispanic shoppers and spending. 


In an effort to uncover what was really happening, Energy BBDO partnered with Culturati—a full-service, cross-cultural market research firm with strong U.S. Hispanic expertise—to delve deeper into the issue. The quantitative and qualitative study incorporated 1,000 online surveys of both documented and undocumented immigrants, as well as non-Hispanics, and in-depth focus groups to provide a broad-based understanding of the tensions among U.S. Hispanic communities.
 
Key findings from the study imply three major trends:

1. Hispanic shopping and spending is not slowing down. In fact, Hispanics are shopping and spending more than they ever have—and will likely continue to do so. 

49% of Hispanics reported shopping more often than the prior year
56% of undocumented Hispanics—those who could feel threatened by deportation—claim they are shopping more than they were a year ago
60% of Hispanics and 68% of undocumented Hispanics claim they are spending more than they ever have

2. Shopping preferences have been somewhat impacted. Hispanics are shopping less frequently at mainstream grocery and convenience stores, and they are opting to shop at retailers that offer value and familiarity. 
Hispanics are making 33% fewer trips to Mainstream Grocery Stores and 40% fewer to Convenience Stores
Instead, they are making 46% more trips to Mass Merchandisers, 41% more to Dollar Stores, and 31% more to Discount Clubs 
Trips to Hispanic Grocery Stores are also on the rise—up 28% among Hispanics and 40% among Undocumented Hispanics 

3. The most significant shift is one in attitude—a reduction in overall feelings of optimism as a community driven by an environment that doesn’t seem as welcoming as it once did. 

Hispanics are 50% more likely to have doubts about their place in America versus a year ago
70% of Hispanics describe an increase in displays of prejudice since the last election
1 in 4 Hispanics has experienced race and ethnicity-driven poor customer service in the past few months
 
What does this mean for marketers? Based on study findings, Energy BBDO has identified a clear and immediate opportunity for brands to forge a bond with this significant market. U.S. Hispanic spending has continued to rise despite negative political rhetoric. Hispanics are feeling a clear void and sense of displacement, but brands can help fill that void by showing their support to the community. The time is now for brands to take action to play a larger role in these people’s lives when it matters most, thereby building trust and long-term loyalty. 

Tonise Paul, President and CEO of Energy BBDO, who first identified the opportunity for this study, shares, “There’s no denying the growth potential the Hispanic Market represents for our clients’ brands. For years we’ve worked with our clients to listen and create strategic communications that are inclusive of the America we live in today. In this time of vulnerability for U.S. Hispanics, what we do to address the community, directly or indirectly, is more important than ever before.” 
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