ROCKVILLE, MD. — Some Latino items are outselling American staples, and the Latino cultures is impacting U.S. grocery stores so much that it has redefined American cuisine, according to a new report from Packaged Facts.
Overall, the market for Hispanic foods and beverages reached almost $8.2 billion in 2012, up 3% from the previous year and up 8% from $7.5 billion in 2009. In addition, sales of Hispanic foods and beverages are expected to reach $10.7 billion in 2017, up 31% from the present market level.
Tortillas are outselling many American staples, including pasta, hamburgers and hot dog buns, all other fresh rolls/buns/croissants and bagels/bialys. In addition, salsa has nearly twice the sales of ketchup and more than twice the sales of mustard. Hispanic brands represent 17% to 18% of the frozen hand-held entrée category, and growth of those brands outpaces the overall category growth.
Overall, Hispanic foods and beverages appeal to a variety of consumers from Spanish-only speakers to multicultural consumers, foodies and most households in America. Nearly 73% of consumers Packaged Facts surveyed said they use Mexican food and ingredients. For Hispanics, this goes up to nearly 84%.
Overall, Hispanics represent $1.2 billion in buying power, and that number is expected to reach $1.3 billion next year.
Mainstream consumers also are becoming more adventurous with less well-known Hispanic flavors and textures, and companies such as Ruiz Foods and Goya have observed this sophisticated taste and are adjusting product mixes. Some marketers are adding new Latin-inspired flavors to existing product lines or rolling out new Hispanic food lines like McCormick is with its Hispanic rice mixes. Others are developing recipes with a “foodie flair,” such as Chef Rick Bayless’ line of skillet sauces.
Salsa is the most used Mexican food ingredient with a 44.1% household usage rate in the United States, and this is followed by flour tortillas with a 43.2% household usage rate. Taco seasoning mixes, taco shells and refried beans also rank in the top five mostly commonly used ingredients.