For many, the image of a Hispanic mom or abuela in the kitchen can so strongly evoke the tradition of made-from-scratch, home-cooked meals that one can almost smell the aroma of cominos, chilis, garlic, and warm tortillas coming out of the photos. Whether it’s frijoles a la olla or hand-rolled taquitos topped with freshly made guacamole, Hispanic moms take pride in caring for their families through homemade, traditional food. That’s why the results of some recent food research were surprising.
As reported at Hispanic Retail 360, an SSG 2012 study found that 65% of first generation and 59% of second-generation Hispanic moms are more likely than white non-Hispanic moms to purchase new convenience packaging products. No cause for concern, however, that those figures might be foreshadowing the end of a strong cultural tradition. The Hispanic moms surveyed indicated that they would only use convenience products whose tastes and quality most closely matched traditional homemade; paying more for the brands with the homemade taste if necessary.
Furthermore, Latina moms indicated that convenience products were used only in self-described “emergencies.” Even more interestingly, these occasions were less “emergencies” in a traditional sense, but more when work or family commitments encroached on the time needed to prepare food from scratch—which admittedly happened on a regular weekly basis! A powerful insight indeed, Latina moms are in need of convenient meal solutions on hectic “emergency” week nights when desperate measures called for unnoticeable shortcuts. With semi-prepared convenience food products, Latina moms are still able to put their own loving family secret touch, often passed from generation to generation, on the convenience meal and allow them to surpass the weekly “emergencies” without suspicious children or husband.
The Hispanic moms surveyed were besieged by the reality of modern life, like any other moms today, juggling multiple priorities, from work and school work to parent care and social involvements. They expressed strong emotions, however, when speaking about their family commitments. They were very protective of the time dedicated for family priorities, including nightly dinners together (when dad came home from work and kids were done with extracurricular activities), attendance at school and sports events, extended family gatherings, and weekly “family outings” with both parents & children.
Nevertheless, even given time constraints or other challenges, Hispanic moms were not as willing to just bring in an outside meal, like fast food.. They preferred to purchase and use convenience food products, to facilitate making a home-cooked meal that tasted as close to their own cooking as possible, in taste, quality and texture.
They will compromise on convenience food products in “emergencies” on the condition that when they serve their family a helping of mami’s cooking, traditional taste and quality served up too.
Goya and Beechnut are tapping into these relevant consumer insights with their new baby food offering, helping Hispanic moms stay true to the essence of their Hispanic heritage within the construct of their current lifestyle. Retailers also stand to benefit from delivering culturally-relevant convenience—or lose if turning a deaf ear.
Stay tuned for more to come on how to capitalize on consumer dynamics that lead to Total Market growth.
SSG is a strategy consultancy driven by management P&L experience and predictive analytics. We develop fact-based business models, growth roadmaps, insights and segmentations for the Total Market and the evolving Hispanics, Multicultural & Millennial segments. We help clients focus their limited resources where the highest market opportunities exist, and which strategies advance maximum, efficient Total Market growth.