Specifying your target customer in the diverse Hispanic demographic can help food sales soar at retail.

By Howard Riell

The first rule of marketing for the average Hispanic consumer is understanding that there is no such thing as the average Hispanic consumer.

The Hispanic consumer spans a diverse demographic composed of many niche groups—Colombians, Brazilians, Mexicans, Salvadorans and others from Central America—and yet retailers often make the mistake of targeting Hispanics as a homogenous block. This can be a lethal blunder for your business, especially considering the demographic currently represents about $1 trillion of spending power across the nation.

Savvy c-store operators succeed by specifying the niche within this population they most want to attract and leveraging some commonalities and sensitivities that appear across the spectrum of this key demographic.

With so many sales dollars at stake, why do businesses intent on drawing the Hispanic population often fall into the trap of generalizing the Hispanic market?

“Because it’s easy,” said J.D. Moya, founder of the Pegasus Group, a Hispanic marketing consultancy based in Albuquerque, N.M. “It’s easier to comprehend: ‘Oh, there’s one group out there.’ That’s why there are variations of success in the market, because instead of focusing on one niche market of a particular group, some retailers tend to generalize too much. They spend a bunch of money, and in some areas it works, but in some areas it doesn’t.”


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