Aggressive growth forecast for Hispanic market

by Keith Nunes
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NEW YORK — The market research firm Packaged Facts estimates the sales of Hispanic food and beverage products will rise to $10 billion by 2014 from its current annual sales rate of $7 billion. The company cited the expanding appetite for Latino cuisine among non-Hispanic Americans and the rapid increase of the U.S. Hispanic population as reasons for its projection.

In its newest report, “Hispanic food and beverages in the U.S.: market and consumer trends in Latino cuisine,” Packaged Facts also estimated the buying power of the U.S. Hispanic population will increase as well, up from $984 billion in 2008 to $1.3 trillion by 2013. The increase in spending is especially relevant to retailers, because Hispanic families tend to prepare and consume more meals at home.

The Packaged Facts report divided the Hispanic food and beverage market into three categories: Mexican mainstream, authentic Hispanic and nuevo Latino. The Mexican mainstream segment consists of traditional Mexican fare that has become a part of the American dining experience, such as tacos, burritos, refried beans, etc.

The authentic Hispanic category consists of authentic products imported into the United States or manufactured domestically using traditional recipes. The nuevo Latino segments features traditional American foods made with Hispanic ingredients, as well as unique new products that meld a variety of Hispanic flavors and food traditions.

“All three segments of Hispanic food are becoming increasingly available throughout the U.S. due to expanded distribution through both retail and food service outlets and expanded awareness of these products as a result of mass communications on television and the Internet about Hispanic foods and cooking techniques,” said Don Montuori, the publisher of Packaged Facts. “The fact that the Hispanic population is expanding beyond traditional enclaves in California, the Southwest, Florida, and major metropolitan areas like New York and Chicago to communities which previously had either no Hispanic presence or only a small one further benefits the market.”

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