Butchers Play a Key Role in Drawing More Hispanic Shoppers Into the Store

The world of retail grocery is one of increased competition – especially from online shopping options. Online food and beverage sales are expected to jump 23% this year as sites like Amazon grab a growing share of the household brands and staples sold in the center aisles.

According to a 2017 Acosta study, Hispanic shoppers report making an average of 3.1 stock-up trips at the grocery store each month, while total U.S. shoppers average 2.7 stock-up trips. Being relevant to this consumer group gives you more opportunities to keep more foot traffic in store. (We can’t entirely dismiss online grocery shopping among Latino consumers. This same study found that while although only 54% of Hispanic shoppers reported having access to online grocery shopping solutions, 65% of those who had access had ordered grocery items in the past year.)

So how do we differentiate retail stores and draw in more Hispanic consumers? The service at the meat counter plays a huge role in the shopping experience.

Hispanic shoppers are drawn to ethnic grocery stores and bodegas (neighborhood corner stores) that give them the in-store experiences they desire. One of the biggest advantages these stores offer is the ability to interact with customers in Spanish, especially with the carniceros (butchers). Hispanic butchers — especially those who share the same cultural identity and affinities of their customers — understand the cuts and preparations used in authentic dishes, and can offer relevant suggestions and advice. As a result, the relationship between the carnicero and their customer is invaluable.

With the U.S. Hispanic consumer segment set to surpass more than $1.7 trillion in buying power (per Nielsen),  mainstream grocery stores need to quickly identify strategies that will help them gain relevancy (and keep it) among Latino shoppers.

How can your in-store butcher provide a more authentic experience for Hispanic customers? Beyond having staff who can engage your customers in fluent Spanish, here are four additional ways to add more value:

Cut to the Customer’s Specifications
Hispanic consumers are more likely to use ribs as an ingredient rather than a center-of-the-plate item. They want loin cut in chunks for dishes like carne frita con mofongo, costillas en salsa verde, or adobado al horno. Make your butcher counter a welcoming place where customers can ask for thinner cuts, have their meat cut or have bones removed.

Pre-Seasoned Meal Solutions
Offer meal suggestions with seasonings and sauces for those recipes, and promote the butcher’s ability to help customize pork cuts for those dishes. The simple step at the butcher count can shave minutes off of the customer’s meal prep time, and go a long way toward building greater loyalty.

Special Orders
Whole suckling pig is probably not something every store might be able to stock in its meat case year-round, but having a Hispanic butcher on staff can help Hispanic customers find these special orders they need for holidays or special family events.

Custom Packaging
Whether the customer wants to feed a large family gathering or just needs a few cuts for a weeknight meal, highlighting the butcher’s ability to customize the package size is a plus for Hispanic shoppers who seek out value.

The meat counter can be a key draw for retailers to differentiate their store and provide an experience Hispanic consumers will seek out. Promoting these services — and demonstrating a true understanding of your customers and their needs — can go a long way toward building greater loyalty.

What in-store strategies are you using to attract more Latino shoppers?
Let us know, and we might feature your work in an upcoming newsletter!

Angie Krieger

Angie Krieger

Assistant Vice President, Channel Outreach

National Pork Board Cell: 319-594-4000 akrieger@pork.org