Hispanic culture affecting breakfast, dinner trends
by Keith Nunes
CHICAGO — The growing Hispanic population is having an affect on the nation’s breakfast and dinner meal occasions, according to the market research firm The NPD Group’s National Eating Trends (NET) Hispanic report. For example, the study, which is a year-long effort that captures the in-home and away-from-home consumption habits of Hispanics in the United States by level of acculturation, showed that while non-Hispanics include non-toasted bread in 2% of their breakfast meals, 12% of Hispanics include non-toasted bread.
While non-toasted bread appears to be the breakfast carbohydrate of choice in Hispanic homes, other breakfast options are consumed less often compared to non-Hispanics’ consumption, according to The NPD Group. For example, hot cereal has a 10% share of non-Hispanic breakfast eatings, while that number for Hispanics is only 6%. Eggs are found more often on the table during breakfast in Hispanic homes than in non-Hispanic homes in the United States.
“This shift could bode well for bread makers and bakery departments, and they should make efforts to connect with Hispanics sooner rather than later,” said Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst at NPD. “On the flip side, hot cereal marketers will need to appeal to this group in ways that differ from traditional efforts. For example, the warmth and convenience of hot cereal could be important aspects to highlight, as Hispanics are already consuming warm breakfasts at above average rates.”
Side dishes at dinner are another category that is being influenced by Hispanic consumption behavior, according to the NET Hispanic survey. Hispanics eat rice more often at lunch and dinner compared to non-Hispanics; and in a time when side dish consumption has been declining across all major categories, both plain and flavored rice are being included in more meals as a side dish among the overall population.
“There’s no doubt about it — Hispanics are a large and quickly growing group, and they will likely move the needle on national consumption trends over the next 10 years,” Mr. Seifer said.
Hispanics now make up 16% of the U.S. population and the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that the population will grow to comprise 34% of the U.S. population by 2020.