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    Meal Traditions Drive U.S. Hispanics’ Protein Choices

    Chicken, beans most reflect Hispanic heritage: NPD 

    Among both English- and Spanish-dominant U.S. Hispanics, tradition and heritage are among the factors that drive meal choices, especially protein-rich foods, according to The NPD Group.

    While U.S. Hispanics and non-Hispanics consume foods high in protein, Hispanics consume chicken, legumes, eggs and fish/seafood more frequently than non-Hispanics.

    From a trend perspective, these foods have maintained a similar level of importance among Hispanics compared to five years ago, except for legumes that have declined somewhat, according to NPD’s NET (National Eating Trends) Hispanic research.

    Foods and beverages served in U.S. Hispanic households are the result of family tradition and national cuisine carried from origins in Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba and other Spanish-speaking countries in the Caribbean and Central/Latin/South America.

    U.S. Hispanics say that chicken and beans are proteins that most reflect their Hispanic heritage. Chicken is the top main dish food included in U.S. Hispanics’ in-home dinner meals and is included in more afternoon meals compared to those of non-Hispanics.

    Although U.S. Hispanics have unique preferences in protein, they do consume beef and yogurt at a similar rate as non-Hispanics. Compared to five years ago, beef consumption has declined in importance among Hispanics while yogurt has grown. Protein foods that Hispanics consume less frequently than non-Hispanics include cheese, nuts/seeds, peanut butter and turkey, reports NPD.

    “It’s important for manufacturers and retailers to understand the role that tradition and heritage play in U.S. Hispanics’ food and beverage choices,” said Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “Understanding which product categories appeal to each Hispanic consumer group will be critical to effectively connecting with these consumers and understanding the situations and motivations that drive category consumption.”

    Chicago-based NPD Group provides comprehensive consumer and retail information to more than 2,000 manufacturers, retailers and service companies to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national and local market levels.

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