Multicultural grocery shopping

AC&M Insights: Multicultural Trends in the Grocery Industry

As the rapid growth of multicultural households continues to boom in the U.S., so does the buying power and influence they wield in the marketplace. For many retailers, this translates to adopting new strategies from branding to product offerings that can attract today’s savvy multicultural consumer.

Overall, fresh food consumption is on the rise — but even more so among multicultural consumers. By recognizing and understanding these trends, grocers can better satisfy the needs and demands of a growing diverse U.S. community.

African-American Trends

  • African-American households spend 44% of their perishables dollars on meat and seafood.
  • African-American shoppers buy fresh meats like pork, chicken and turkey; and fresh vegetables like greens and cabbage at higher rates than non-African-American shoppers.
  • African-American Millennials spend 14% more when they shop than older Black generations. Conversely, older black consumers make more trips, shopping 23% more frequently than their younger counterparts.


Asian-American Trends

  • Asian-American consumers spend more than twice as much on seafood than white non-Hispanic households.
  • Asian-American consumers index strongest on fresh produce ingredients like cooking vegetables, green beans and sprouts.
  • Asian-Americans households prefer cooking with fresh food rather than canned or frozen with 71% indicating that they rarely eat frozen dinners.


Hispanic Trends

  • Hispanic consumers spend $175 more per year on fresh foods than the average U.S. consumer, with 30% of Hispanics purchasing groceries at ethnic-focused stores.
  • Hispanics are also 11% more likely to enjoy grocery shopping than other racial demographics, and they tend to make more trips to the store in the average month.
  • Hispanics prefer sensory experiences while shopping such as sampling fresh-made tortillas, watching butchers slice up roasted meats, and buying a wide range of culturally rich foods.


For multicultural consumers, food is an essential part of their cultural heritage. Understanding what multicultural consumers are purchasing is only one piece of the puzzle. You have to also understand where they are shopping and their shopping patterns and preferences. Many multicultural consumers are shopping across multiple channels including grocery, drug and warehouse club stores,” said Gail Cox, VP of Strategy and Research at AC&M Group.

A recent LoyaltyOne study reveals there is enormous opportunity for retailers in the area of ethnic marketing because many shoppers aren’t finding the products they want and need in their local grocery stores. Many indicated they would buy more from local grocery stores that stock ethnic products.

Understanding the shopping trends among multicultural consumers is critical for retailers to leverage new growth opportunities and create lasting brand loyalty for decades to come.

Interested in more insights on this topic? Drop us a line at for a complete deep-dive into the multicultural trends in the grocery industry.

Source: The Nielsen Company


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Natalia Flores

Accredited PR Pro specialized in multicultural markets | Argentina-native & Miami-raised living la vida loca in the Queen City |Runs in tutus and tiaras | iTri | Chocoholic