Opportunity is knocking but who’s going to answer?

There is no question Latinos represent pork’s greatest growth opportunity.

From growing demographics to increasing purchasing power to love for the product unlike any other segment, Hispanics represent the biggest opportunity for brands to grow their pork business.

By 2024, the U.S. Latino population will surpass 72 million and its purchasing power will reach 1.7 trillion – larger than the gross domestic product (GDP) of Australia or Spain.

The question is, why aren’t more in the pork industry paying attention to the Hispanic segment?

In October, the National Pork Board will release a more comprehensive report with key insights and actions for the industry to take. For now, though, the white paper below offers a glimpse of some opportunities – and potential risks – that exist in the Latino market.

Hispanics are loyal customers and their affinity for pork is deep-rooted in culture. Failing to capitalize on this segment could have major consequences for the pork industry, both in the short and long term.

The ball is in our court.

On Acculturation

To understand the U.S. Hispanic consumer, it is important to talk about acculturation and how it influences consumers’ behaviors and preferences.

Acculturation is the integration of different cultures into one’s life and an individual’s affinity for each of those cultures. In the case of Hispanics, this refers to the balancing, integration and embedment of Latino and American cultures and lifestyles into their everyday. Within the U.S. Hispanic population, there are three wide acculturation groups:

  • The unacculturated – those who remain closer and more anchored in their Hispanic cultural heritage
  • The bicultural – those who embed both Hispanic and American culture and traditions into their lives
  • The acculturated – those who are more detached from their Hispanic heritage

For marketing and business purposes, the importance of acculturation lies in its influence on consumer behavior, preferences and habits, which ultimately affect how they make their choices in the marketplace.

Hispanic or Latino?

You may have heard both terms used by companies, brands and marketers and wondered, “Well, which is it?”

If that’s the case, you’re not alone. While both terms are correct and commonly used interchangeably, they are not exactly the same. For instance, consumer preferences may differ when it comes to using one term over the other. To be inclusive and consistent and to compare behaviors among the general population, the National Pork Board will use both terms – Hispanic and Latino – interchangeably.

A fuller view on this topic will be included in a more comprehensive report later this year.