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Consumer Trends

Pay attention to the growing force of Hispanic diners

Based on the 2010 Census, Hispanics currently represent 16% of the U.S. population, according to NPD's CREST Hispanic, and the birth rate of this group is four times that of the national average. Packaged Facts' Latino Foodservice Trends in the U.S. backs up this surge, noting that from 2005 to 2025, the U.S. Census has projected 78% growth in the Hispanic population, compared to 15% growth in the general population.

The rapidly growing Hispanic population will continue to drive demand for more ethnically diverse foods, NPD forecasts. But spicing up the menu with Latin flavors and ingredients is not the only way to attract Hispanic diners. It also pays to learn a bit about their restaurant behavior.

  • In the first half of 2011, Hispanics made 5.8 billion restaurant visits; 45% of these visits were in groups of three or more, compared to 32% for non-Hispanics.
  • Hispanics consider dining out a family affair. Slightly over 40% of restaurant visits by Hispanics include children, compared to 30% of non-Hispanic visits, NPD found.
  • Hispanic share of consumer-driven restaurant sales has ticked upward from 12% in 2006 to 12.7% in 2011, although the group's share of limited-service sales declined slightly, states Packaged Facts.
  • According to David Sprinkle, publisher of Packaged Facts, Hispanics age 18-24 are about 25% more likely than Hispanics in general to use limited-service restaurants. The prevalence of younger consumers in the Hispanic population makes Hispanic youth that much more important to the restaurant industry.

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