Women, Latinos and seniors will top the list of the
nation's most influential consumers by the end of this decade,
concludes a new Packaged Facts report, Americans in 2020,
that examines primary data from Simmons, Experian and the U.S.
Their socio-economic rise will affect the retail and
CPG food worlds. The 2014 food trend predictions issued by
SupermarketGuru Phil Lempert already paint a picture of how some of
this is taking shape this year.
Let's start with the influence of women.
Packaged Facts predicts they'll usher in "an era of income
equality" with men, because delayed marriages and "a greater
propensity to pursue 'three-letter' degrees will allow women in the
workplace to secure more positions of authority and affluence."
Already, says Lempert, the
"IndieWoman" is emerging in 2014 as a major food influencer.
He references almost 31 million females fitting this description -
age 27 and older, living alone with no children. When
they aren't busy being social or growing their careers, they also
enjoy shopping. According to a Milo.com survey, these women have
strong affiliations to brands and love to hunt for bargains. When
it comes to their supermarket habits, "IndieWomen" spend $50
billion on food and beverages each year.
Time is of the essence for the "IndieWoman," he
adds. So expect more brands to cater to this powerful
consumer who wants to cook, but might not have the time for a
homemade meal every night. A ConAgra Foods survey conducted by
SupermarketGuru.com, found that 59% of respondents purchased
multi-serve frozen meals because of their busy schedules. Because
this group is increasingly busy, brands will cater to this
demographic through more semi-homemade meals that use
fresh-tasting, high-quality ingredients.
Meanwhile, the Latino population is growing in sheer
numbers and in education levels. Packaged Facts notes this will add
to their spending clout and other influences on retail. The
Hispanic population in the U.S. will reach 64 million in 2020 -
exceeding African-Americans (42 million), and reaching one-third
the size of non-Hispanic whites (199 million). Latino
Millennials are attaining higher education, as they diversify
vocational sectors and residential communities across the U.S., and
set the stage for greater influence in the future.
F3 has written recently about retail opportunities to serve Hispanics.
The F3 reports dovetail with another Lempert trend for 2014 -
greater popularity of international restaurant flavors at home.
The surge of Latino and Asian populations - along
with growing consumer interest in adding more flavor and variety to
mealtime - leads to more growth opportunities for South American,
Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines, he states. From school
cafeterias, to the dining room table, global flavors are sprouting
up in places other than restaurants.
Since children today are exposed to global cuisine
flavors at earlier ages, they'll accept international flavors more
easily as they grow up with sophisticated palates. Children
influence nearly 80% of purchase decisions by families, so expect
adults to seek these new flavors for their dinner tables at the
At the opposite end of the age spectrum, Boomers and
seniors head a "greater abundance of affluent households" and are
often loyal consumers that retailers should court, suggests
Packaged Facts. By 2020, people older than 65 will account
for 17% of the U.S. population (up from 13% in 2010) and account
for 42% of total population growth in the decade, the firm says,
citing Census data.
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