Beyond Mexico: The Other Countries of Origin For US Hispanics
Two-thirds of the U.S. Hispanic population is Mexican, so it’s no surprise that when retailers, packers and foodservice operators think about marketing to Hispanics, they often think of Mexican cuisine first. However, as we covered in our report Time to Tango: Latinos are Pork’s Future, the U.S. Hispanic population represent a mosaic of cultures and countries of origin. According to Pew Research Center, the three largest Hispanic populations in the United States, behind Mexicans, are Puerto Ricans (9.5% of the U.S. Hispanic population), Salvadorans (3.9%) and Cubans (3.9%).
While these are the top four populations in the country, the dominant country of origin changes from city to city. Considering the size of the U.S. Hispanic population and how fast it continues to grow, retailers need to take a more inclusive approach to their Hispanic marketing. To help retailers, packers and foodservice operators understand these cultures more and the role pork plays in their cuisines, we’ve compiled a list of common pork dishes in Puerto Rican, Salvadoran and Cuban culture.
Consider limited time offers (LTOs).
Dishes that are popular among local Hispanic populations can quickly become favorites among local non-Hispanics, too. Foodservice operators should consider adding these dishes as LTOs or specials on menus, while retailers can rotate them into hot bars offerings. This approach can appeal to Hispanic and general market consumers alike.
Cuts are key.
Offer the cuts and preparations common in these popular dishes, including:
- Fresh skin as well as prepared chicharrón
- Smoked hocks or shanks
- Pre-cubed shoulder
- Fresh leg
Don’t forget the accompaniments.
Making these dishes often requires other key ingredients that can be difficult to find outside Hispanic markets. Offering these items and the right cuts can keep Hispanic customers shopping at traditional grocers:
- Banana leaves for tamales
- Sazón with annatto
- Cuban bread
Every region has a different local Hispanic population, so it’s important to understand the nuances of your local market. By adjusting your offerings to reflect the Hispanics who live in your community, you’ll have a much better chance of building lasting relationships with them.