Hispanics are the fastest-growing consumer group in the U.S., with almost every consumer product vying for their attention and dollars. The alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage industries are no different and are benefitting from this ever expanding consumer. According to latest research from Mintel, there are many factors that weigh in to which beverages Hispanics consume.
“When choosing how to spend their beverage dollars, Hispanics’ country of origin, income, acculturation level and age drive their purchasing decisions,” says Leylha Ahuile, senior multi-cultural analyst at Mintel. “Lifestyle is also important, including family size and the presence of children in the household.”
While Hispanics over index on nearly all non-alcoholic beverages, they are most likely of any ethnic/race group to consume thirst quenchers/sports drinks, as 56% report doing so versus 38% of white consumers, 50% of Black consumers and 39% of Asians. Mintel finds that this is driven not only by the relative youth of the Hispanic market, but also the high likelihood that these consumers perform manual labor jobs, where thirst quenchers prove beneficial.
When it comes to alcoholic beverages, beer is the big winner. Hispanics drink more imported beer than any other ethnicity (34% versus 28% of total population). Meanwhile, just over a quarter (27%) of Hispanics drink tequila, the highest percentage for any ethnic group. This is not surprising since Hispanics of Mexican heritage represent 63% of the US Hispanic population but it is primarily the more acculturated Hispanic that consumes tequila.
Wine, on the other hand, is the least favorite alcoholic beverage among Hispanics, with only 23% saying they consume it versus 33% of the total population.
“Many US Hispanics, particularly Mexicans, have not been exposed to wine in their home country, so there isn’t a wine drinking culture or tradition,” adds Leylha Ahuile. “However, we expect this to change in the coming years as it is already on the rise. Between 2005 and 2010, the number of glasses of wine consumed by Hispanics per month increased by nearly 50%. Many of these Hispanic wine consumers are second or third generation and their level of acculturation is impacting their wine consumption habits.”