traditional mexican food salsas and ingredients

AC&M Insights: Hispanic Food Favorites in the U.S.

There is no denying Hispanic dishes and snacks have made a large impact on current U.S. food trends. You can easily notice this by driving through a busy street and spotting multiple Hispanic restaurants or walking down the aisle at your local grocery store and finding all the rich flavors of Latin America.

On its climb to mainstream cuisine, Hispanic food items, such as salsa, have won over American taste buds and taken the title of #1 condiment over ketchup. Gaining impressive popularity are tortillas which have been outselling hamburger and hotdog buns in grocery stores since 2010, making quite a statement seeing how hotdogs and hamburgers are traditional American staples.

Other Latino favorites which have successfully crossed over to the U.S. mainstream include:

  • Ceviche
  • Arepas
  • Tacos
  • The Cubano (Cuban Sandwich)
  • Quinoa

To make a majority of these dishes, ingredients- such as avocados- are imperative and the demand for these ingredients has been on the rise. According to the Hass Avocado Board, 2.24 billion pounds of avocados were imported into the U.S in 2016 alone. Although this already seems like a large number of avocados being imported, it will continue to grow as people are willing to pay extra for guacamole. #GuacIsExtra

In a report released by Research and Markets, the Hispanic food market had sales of 17.5 billion dollars in 2015 and is expected to increase to approximately 21 billion by 2020.

But why are sales increasing at such a high rate if these dishes and food items have been around for so long?

It is mainly due to the increasing Hispanic population in the U.S and their high level of influence. One out of every three millennials in the country is Hispanic, and thanks to their influential power (a large part being on social media) they are helping make these Hispanic foods viral. Think: #TacoTuesday #MargaritaMonday

As a Hispanic millennial myself, the U.S adopting many of these rich Hispanic flavors is comforting. Embracing different cultures is what makes the U.S. unique; it allows for the perfect recipe — where different cultures can mingle together while still preserving their distinct customs, traditions and flavors.

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Pablo Arellano