The United States is a diverse nation of consumers with different wants and needs, backgrounds, opinions, values, and expectations. However, not all voices are always clearly heard, often leading to decision-makers remaining ill-informed.

CivicScience’s robust privacy-centric polling platform, fueled by our media partnerships, enables Americans from all walks of life to be heard and informed. In this series, we’ll take a closer look at Hispanic and Latino American respondents, who represent 19% of the U.S. population.

Here are three key insights about U.S. Hispanic consumers regarding grocery shopping habits and how they compare to the general population.

1. Supermarkets

From large supercenters to local grocery stores, consumers have many grocers to choose from. But which type of supermarkets take the top?

Large, regional grocery chains (e.g. Safeway and Giant Eagle) are most popular among Hispanic Americans across the country. However, the Gen Pop shops at these grocery stores at a higher rate. To fill the gap, Hispanic Americans shop at specialty, co-op grocery stores much more than the general population, especially among those living in the Midwest.

Hispanic Americans are also more likely to purchase food or beverages at convenience stores than the general public — 53% of Latino adults do so at least ‘once every few weeks,’ which is a whopping nine percentage points more than the Gen Pop (44%). 

2. Grocery-Buying Habits

Consumers also have a plethora of options on grocery shelves. But what makes an item worth grabbing? 

The data show that Hispanic adults are slightly more likely to say they buy organic food (12%) and sustainably produced food (21%) ‘every chance I get.’ Whereas the Gen Pop is more likely to buy locally grown food (23%) at every opportunity. Hispanic Americans and the Gen Pop avoid buying foods that contain GMOs to the same degree (21%).

Looking specifically at different foods, polling shows that:

  • Over a third of Hispanic adults eat canned or boxed soups weekly (35%), compared to more than a quarter of the Gen Pop (26%).
  • Half of Hispanic Americans eat snack, health, or dietary supplement bars at least weekly, 11 percentage points more than the general population.
  • Hispanic adults are more likely to reach for healthy snacks like fruits or nuts than the Gen Pop (31% vs. 27%).
  • Nearly 6-in-10 Hispanic Americans report they or their family eat cereal at least once a week, which is four percentage points more than the general population (57% vs. 52%).
  • Latino Americans are slightly more likely to prepare frozen entrees at least once a week — 37% say they ‘never’ do so, compared to 38% of the Gen Pop.

3. Food Purchase Influences

What influences consumers to convert? For many, a mix of brand and price influence purchasing decisions. Data show that the Gen Pop is much more likely to say price is important to them than brand when buying food (30% vs. 19%), whereas Hispanic Adults are nearly equally likely to pick price (24%) and brand (23%). 

Outside of influences in-store, social media helps to drive food purchases, more so for Latino Americans. Forty-five percent of Hispanic Americans say social media influences their food purchases at least ‘a little,’ which is 13 percentage points more than the general population who say the same (32%). This could hint at grocery retailers’ potential opportunity to bring consumers to stores and toward certain brands via social media.

It’s clear from the data that there are noteworthy differences between U.S. Hispanic adults and the Gen Pop when it comes to grocery buying habits. Be sure to stay tuned for future insights from our ongoing series exploring a variety of categories among Hispanic Americans – or work with us to get ahead of the curve.