For many Hispanic consumers, searching for the ingredients they need to make traditional meals has become a frustrating task, often requiring visits to three or four stores per month due to an inability to find variety meats, a focal point in their cultural traditions.
That’s according to a recent study by meat supplier Cargill, which found the difficulty that Hispanic consumers face in locating variety meats drives them from traditional retailers to other channels, including local mercados and carnicerias.
“We know that many Hispanic consumers are interested in a line of variety meats that adds convenience to their desire to create traditional dishes and eating experiences representative of their culture and heritage,” said Carolina Tabares, senior brand manager for Cargill's Hispanic-focused Rumba Meats brand. “Our desire is to help retailers adapt to meet the needs of this influential and growing consumer demographic in the U.S.”
To address this gap in the consumer shopping experience, Tabares said Rumba Meats is expanding nationwide to help retailers better serve Hispanic consumers.
Research found 73 percent of Hispanic shoppers agree they would shop at a particular store because it carried beef variety meats, with 76 percent agreeing they want to buy their variety meats at the same store as the rest of their groceries.
With the U.S. Hispanic population approaching 20 percent of the nation’s total, with an estimated purchasing power of $1.7 trillion in 2017, there’s an opportunity for traditional retailers to capture more of the Hispanic grocery basket. Currently, 55 percent of Hispanic shoppers spend more than $100 on groceries each trip, with 81 percent making one or more trips to the grocery store weekly.
Jeff Hamilton, senior director of customer solutions in meat, seafood and deli at grocery retailer FoodMaxx, said he "appreciates the diversity Cargill provides in our meat case with Rumba variety meats. If we can better meet the needs of our Hispanic audience, in any way, including bringing people together through food, we’re all in.”
The study, built on proprietary research conducted in 2016, uses the responses from more than 1,000 U.S. Hispanic variety meats consumers to provide an analysis of their general shopping habits, including purchase and use behaviors within the category.
Wichita, Kan.-based Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to customers globally.