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The Most Important Meal of the Day – Latino Style

The New American Reality isn’t a one-way street with Hispanics acculturating into the mainstream – Hispanic tastes and preferences are influencing the mainstream. And it’s happening at breakfast, seemingly a meal in which consumers tend to stick to the tried-and-true.

According to NPD’s NET® (National Eating Trends®) Hispanic, a year-long study that captures the in-home and away-from-home food and beverage consumption habits of U.S. Hispanics, Latinos are driving consumption in both bread and eggs.

While the general population includes non-toasted bread in just 2 percent of their breakfast meals, 12 percent of Hispanics’ breakfasts include non-toasted bread. While non-toasted bread appears to be the breakfast carbohydrate of choice in Hispanic homes, other breakfast options are consumed less often compared to non-Hispanics’ consumption. For example, hot cereal has a 10 percent share of the general population’s breakfast eatings, while that number for Hispanics is only 6 percent. Eggs are found more often on the table during breakfast in Hispanic homes than in non-Hispanic homes in the U.S.

“This shift could bode well for bread makers and bakery departments, and they should make efforts to connect with Hispanics sooner rather than later,” says Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst at NPD. “On the flip side, hot cereal marketers will need to appeal to this group in ways that differ from traditional efforts. For example, the warmth and convenience of hot cereal could be important aspects to highlight, as Hispanics are already consuming warm breakfasts at above average rates.”

Another proof point for the impact Hispanics are having is that the all-American classic, Cheerios, now has a dulce de leche line extension.

“As the Hispanic population continues to grow in the U.S., so does the influence of Latin American flavors on American cuisine. With its Latin American roots and hint of caramel flavor, Dulce de Leche Cheerios brings this culinary trend to your family’s table while delivering the key health benefits you have come to expect from your trusted O’s,” explains the company in a press release for the new cereal, which is available nationwide.

Note that General Mills doesn’t believe that Dulce de Leche Cheerios are only for Hispanic-Americans – that’s just where the idea began.

That’s not likely to be the last we’ll see, as the flavor-and-fragrance leader, Flavorchem, released a new line of Hispanic flavors that will likely make their way into grocery store products and restaurant recipes later this year.

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