Hispanics are recognized as the fastest-growing population group in the U.S., and their impact on the future of the drinks business in bars and restaurants is undeniable, according to the recently released Special Trends in adult Beverage Report: Hispanic Consumer Insights. Currently comprising 17% of the U.S. population, Hispanics are expected to account for 20% of the population by 2020 and 26% by 2045. The group’s financial influence is also rapidly expanding. Hispanic buying power was $1.0 trillion in 2010. Estimates have that growing 50% by 2015, reaching $1.5 trillion. Nearly 33 million Hispanics are currently of legal drinking age (LDA); they account for 14% of the total LDA population, and that is predicted to grow to 25% by 2045.
Hispanics are more likely to have had their most recent adult-beverage occasion in a bar or restaurant than the general population (42% vs. 38%). While in bars and restaurants, Hispanic consumers favor imported beer, red wine and tequila, although research for our Hispanic Consumer Insights report reveals that they imbibe drinks from a broad range of adult-beverage categories. In addition, they frequent a variety of on-premise segments, such as family-dining and fast-casual restaurants, as well as casual-dining locations. These two learnings indicate that opportunities abound to engage Hispanics with various types of adult beverages, but that casual-dining operators are competing with other restaurant industry segments for Hispanic dining out occasions.
Language-dominance influences some Hispanic adult-beverage purchasing behaviors. Population growth for Hispanics occurs primarily through birth rate, which points to increased acculturation. U.S. Hispanic consumers’ preferences and behaviors regarding drinks will evolve as the population grows, and the demographic will play an increasingly important role in the dynamics of the adult-beverage industry. At the VIBE Conference 2014, more findings and learnings from this study about the U.S. Hispanic population and adult beverages will be presented. Stay tuned for more information on that presentation and this important demographic group.