Hispanic & Millennial Home Cooking: Healthy Options, Healthy Outcomes

Living healthier lives starts with eating healthier meals. And among Hispanics and Millennials, it all begins in the home kitchen. Research shows that 90% of first generation Hispanics, 82% of Millennials and 80% of second generation Hispanics agreed that when, “I cook dinner, it is important that it be healthy.”
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Hispanics and Millennials agree: “When I cook dinner, it is important that it be healthy.” Solutions? Adapting traditional meals, using organics.

Living healthier lives starts with eating healthier meals. And among Hispanics and Millennials, it all begins in the home kitchen. SSG-TQF Proprietary Research conducted January / February 2013 shows that 90% of first generation Hispanics, 82% of Millennials and 80% of second generation Hispanics agreed with this statement: “When I cook dinner, it is important that it be healthy.”

A primary motivator for healthy cooking is the prevention of obesity and diabetes. The CDC’s latest National Health and Nutrition Examination shows that Hispanics are 1.2 times as likely to be obese than Non-Hispanic Whites. And according to Pew, the Millennial generation is the first to see rising rates of early-onset obesity-related diseases. These include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes – especially prevalent among Latinos – and certain types of cancer.

This emphasis in healthy cooking is resulting in two trends we’re observing among both Hispanics and Millennials:

  • An increase in home-cooked meals consisting of less meat and more grains and beans, and
  • The growth in organic ingredients in used in meal preparation.

When it comes to healthy home cooking, a phrase that comes to mind is, “Abuelita is not in my kitchen.” While grandmother, or even mom, stick to recipes that revolve around pork and beef, contemporary home keepers aiming to cook healthy are making meals with lighter ingredients like chicken, tofu and organic products.

As for example, let’s take two traditional dishes prepared in Latino households:

  • Pozole, a soup or stew made with hominy (maize) with meat, usually pork,and chili peppers, seasonings and garnishes
  • Chili, or chili con carne, a spicy stew containing chili peppers, beef and tomatoes.

Without trading off flavor, aroma, or heartiness, these high calorie and high in fat dishes can be adapted to become more healthy and contemporary. Some of these variations include:

  • Veggie Pozole de Frijol, Tofu Posole With Hominy
  • White Chicken Chili, and Hominy Chili with Beans

Organics have also made their way into Multicultural and Millennial kitchens, a response to their perceived benefit as a natural and healthier source of nutrition. SSG’s analysis of Gfk-MRI data shows a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of organic buyers among Millennials at 23% and Millennial Multiculturals at 21%.

Driving the growth is not only the understanding that organic foods contain no pesticides, additives or chemicals, but also the altruistic reward that organics are good for the workers who are growing, harvesting, packing and packaging the food items.

We don’t presume to be meal experts. We’ll leave that to the Food Channel. Your brand – production or retail – can benefit from this evolution in home cooking. Consider offering samples, providing easy full meal recipes that include healthy and organic ingredients, and promoting value-add products like organic private label items.

So, what’s cooking in today’s Hispanic and Millennial kitchens? Healthy options, healthy outcomes.

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About SSG
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.

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