Hispanic consumers weather economic storm differently than non-Hispanics

July 13, 2009

Chicago (July 14, 2009)—Almost all Americans are cutting back because of the recession, but in Hispanic households across the country, these cutbacks have a unique tone. New information from market research firm Mintel shows US Hispanics skirting some of the major lifestyle shifts being endured by non-Hispanics.
“Because of the recession, many people are scaling back—dining out less, entertaining at home more, and spending less on their credit cards,” states Leylha Ahuile, senior multicultural analyst at Mintel. “Because Hispanic consumers live simpler, more home-spun lifestyles, they don’t have to make many of these cutbacks. This drastically changes their experience of the recession.”
Dining in, not out – While 52% of the general population is dining out less because of the economy, Mintel finds Hispanics already dined in more frequently. Hispanics spend the most on groceries of any ethnic group (averaging $115 weekly), and their spending is almost identical across income levels (not so for non-Hispanics who spend more if they earn more).
Entertainment at home – In both 2007 and 2008, despite economic declines, Hispanics increased their entertainment spend, likely due to the fact that many US Hispanics are young and starting families. Mintel found Hispanics are also more likely than the general population to subscribe to movie-at-home services.
Credit card debt – The financial crisis is riddling people’s confidence, but because many Hispanics don’t participate in the banking system, they aren’t as affected. Mintel found Hispanics are twice as likely (40%) as non-Hispanics (21%) to have no type of account with a bank. Furthermore, less than half of Hispanics have or use credit cards.
“Because Hispanics aren’t experiencing the major lifestyle shifts of non-Hispanics, they remain optimistic for the future,” comments Leylha Ahuile. “Four in five Hispanics agree the US is the ‘land of opportunities’, while over half believe their financial situations will improve soon.”
Though Hispanics aren’t experiencing the complete societal overhaul of non-Hispanics, they’re still suffering from the recession. Three in four (76%) told Mintel their personal finances are in fair or poor shape, while less than one in three (31%) said they feel secure financially.
Join Mintel’s Leylha Ahuile this afternoon to learn more about Hispanic consumers. “Revisiting the Hispanic Consumer in Today’s Economy”, a free webinar, July 14, 2009 at 1:00 pm CDT. Register at //www.mintel.com/hispanic-consumer-webinar/.

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