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Retail Industry Day: Converging toward your End Consumer

It was great to be invited to speak at The Emerson Group’s Retail Industry Day. The crowd included mostly OTC and beauty marketers and the theme was convergence, defined as “disparate or complementary trends coming together from different directions so as to eventually meet.” During his opener to the day, Emerson’s VP of Marketing Matt Poli said that all converging roads have one goal: capturing the attention of the end consumer.

That’s where Univision came in, to talk about Hispanics as that end consumer. Emerson understands the demographics – Hispanics represent 57 million people in the U.S. today, and will grow to an estimated 77 million by 2030. How does this translate into the OTC business, for example?  Nielsen’s Target Track show that Hispanics represent 12% of all sales (yes, there’s a gap to close) and are fueling the year-over-year sales growth in categories as disperse as oral hygiene (7% vs. 2% non-Hispanic), vitamins/supplements (8% vs. 5% non-Hispanic) and cold/cough/flu remedies (15% vs. 9%).

I shared my personal story as an illustration of the overall journey of Hispanics in the U.S – moving to the states from Puerto Rico and learning a new language but realizing that my culture is an essential part of who I am. Then, passing on that culture to my kids, including enrolling them in a bilingual public school system and engaging them in community relations projects that help other Latinos achieve their higher education goals.

Because it was “Retail Industry Day” after all, I talked shopping, too. According to Simmons, Hispanics are 31% more likely to say “I prefer shopping with my family.” It’s not a chore; it’s family bonding time. (My daughter agrees!) Nielsen Homescan data also shows that we’re shopping more often and spending more per trip. In the health and beauty categories that means 2.8 items per trip (vs. 2.5 non-Hispanic), $14.60 per trip (vs. $14 non-Hispanic) and 29 trips per buyer per year (vs. 27.8 non-Hispanic).

WSL Strategic Retail’s CEO and Chief Shopper Wendy Liebmann summed it all up: “Hispanics are fast  becoming the prototypical U.S. household…If you’re looking for bigger baskets or more frequent shopping trips, here’s where you’ll find them.”


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