Hispanic Americans are expected to make up 31% of the U.S. population by 2060, reported the U.S. Census Bureau. And, according to Forbes magazine and other media, they are expected to have $1.5 trillion in buying power this year, a 50% increase from 2010, according to Nielsen research.
The NPD Group forecasts that the consumption of Latino foods, excluding frozen, will rise by 7% over the next five years.
While Hispanics may be looking for the foods they grew up with, they are not alone in seeking out those distinctive ingredients and flavor profiles. When Datassential, a Chicago-based research company, asked a group of 1,024 consumers to indicate their interest in particular food items were they to be available in convenience stores, 53% said nachos, 46% said tacos and 48% said burritos.
“C-stores are missing an opportunity if they don’t look at adding an authentic Hispanic experience to their foodservice,” said Jennifer Aranas, Datassential project director. “It could be as easy as adding a Mexican torta or adding traditional telera bread to the sandwich menu, churros or concha (pan dulce or sweet bread) for snacks, and maybe a Mexican coffee or hot chocolate to the dispensed hot beverage offering.”
HOT MENU OPTIONS
At Rockland, Mass.-based Tedeschi Food Shops, a Cuban Ciabatta sandwich, made with pork carnitas, imported ham, Swiss cheese and pickles, averaged sales of over 200 per week during a recent six-week period, said Lisa Breagy, the company’s fresh food and culinary category manager. The rest of the sandwich menu also shows the influence of Hispanic flavors with a chicken fajita wrap, chipotle chicken with bacon panini and “ranchero” chicken sandwich. On the snack side there are jalapeño poppers, which have gastropub flair.
“We’re always looking to add more ethnic-inspired flavors, specifically Latin, to our menu items through both our commissary and deli locations,” Breagy said.
After a line of four breakfast burritos was added to the all-day breakfast menu in mid-October of last year, sales in that category increased by 18.4% for the three-month period between November and January, she said. Now there are six breakfast burritos on the proprietary TD’s Deli menu.