US Hispanics and Latinos big business, according to Nielsen report

May 15, 2012

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS April 17, 2012, 12:05AM ET



U.S. companies have been pursuing emerging markets in Latin America in recent years, but a new Nielsen report says Hispanics and Latinos in the U.S.also are an important market that shouldn’t be neglected.

The U.S. Hispanic population of more than 50 million now spends about $1 trillion a year and will have buying power of $1.5 trillion by 2015, according to the report. That power would land the U.S. Latino community among the world’s top 20 economies.

“A lot of times people are looking to market to Hispanics outside the U.S., but it is important to pay attention to Latinos currently here,” said Monica Gil, Nielsen’s senior vice president for government and public affairs.

And marketers must understand Hispanic culture, she said.

“It’s conventional wisdom that Latinos will become part of the melting pot, but Hispanic culture is more sustainable than that,” she said. “The culture may evolve, but it will not go away.”

Nielsen gathered and analyzed data from a range of sources to create the report for its clients, which include advertisers, TV networks, consumer product companies and others.

It’s the third in a series of demographic reports. The other two researched women and African-Americans.

Nielsen’s data sources include consumer panels, surveys of consumer media and purchasing habits, the U.S. Census, the CIA World Fact Book, Goldman Sachs Global Economics, Commodities & Strategy Research and Selig Center for Economic Growth.

Some excerpts:

— Per capita income among U.S. Hispanics is higher than in such emerging markets as Brazil, Russia, India and China.

— U.S. Hispanics are younger than Americans in general, with a median age of 28, compared with 37 for the nation as a whole.

— U.S. Hispanics spend 68 percent more time watching video online and 20 percent more time watching video on mobile phones than non-Hispanic whites.

— Hispanics make fewer shopping trips per household than non-Hispanics, but they tend to spend more per trip.

— Hispanics remember English-language commercials as well as the general population, but Hispanics’ recall improves as much as 30 percent when they see the same ad in Spanish.