Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Salvadorans and the Dynamism of the U.S. Hispanic Population

For as long as most can remember the U.S. Hispanic population groups always centered on Mexicans being #1, Puerto Ricans #2 and Cubans #3.

But change is on the way.  The Salvadoran community in the U.S. is growing at a more robust rate (33%) compared to the Cuban community (17%).  Due to this growth surge Salvadorans may soon replace Cubans as the #3 U.S. Hispanic group.

In Los Angeles we are experiencing this growth directly.  In the summer of 2012  the city of Los Angeles declared a section of Vermont Ave as the "El Salvador Community Corridor", the first  designated Salvadoran neighborhood in the city.

There are some parallels between the Salvadoran and Cuban  experience in the U.S.  In the 80's many Salvadorans fled the violent civil war in their country as refugees and settled in the U.S., with many arriving to the Los Angeles area.

Today Salvadorans are a thriving community in Los Angeles, opening up businesses and running for City Council slots.  No doubt the U.S. Hispanic population is expanding across the country exponentially, but in the established core Hispanic population centers, like Los Angeles, change is in the air as well.


Friday, November 1, 2013

"Day of the Dead is becoming the cool holiday"

Nicholas Gossett had his face painted on Oct. 27. Sandy Huffaker for The Wall Street Journal
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is fast becoming a popular holiday celebration in the US, traditionally celebrated by Hispanics of Mexican heritage, although its important to note people celebrate a variation of Dia de los Muertos (All Saints Day) around the world — from Brazil, across Europe and into Asia.

The Wall Street Journal has an article this morning titled "No Bones About It: Day of the Dead Is Finding New Life".  As a tradition with a precolumbian heritage that has been celebrated for hundreds of years in Mexico and beyond, the holiday was not in need of a second wind. However, as American culture increasing blends with US Hispanic culture the holiday is growing by leaps and bounds and coverage by the WSJ is an example of that. 

In Mexico the modern day version of the celebration began with the Aztecs. The Day of the Dead fell on the 9th month of the Aztec calendar and was celebrated for an entire month. 

In most regions of Mexico November 1 is to honor children and infants, whereas deceased adults are honored on November 2. This is indicated by generally referring to November 1 mainly as Día de los Inocentes ("Day of the Innocents") but also as Día de los Angelitos ("Day of the Little Angels") and November 2 as Día de los Muertos or Día de los Difuntos ("Day of the Dead") (Source:Wikipedia)

A few highlights from WSJ:

• The renowned Hollywood Forever Cemetery hosts one of the largest Dia de los Muertos events  in the country (35,000 est. attendance). "Day of the Dead is becoming the cool holiday," says Celine Mares, co-founder of a popular annual event in a Hollywood cemetery. "Halloween is passé."
• Companies are also jumping in. Nestlé, a sponsor of the cemetery event (Hollywood Forever Cemetery) , says it will attempt to "establish the Guinness World Record for the largest Day of the Dead altar in the U.S." Its entry will portray stylish female skeleton figures known as Catrinas enjoying cups of its Mexican-style hot chocolate and its instant coffee.
• In Texas, Houston's science museum offers a workshop for teachers interested in taking the holiday into their classrooms. "It's probably our most popular workshop," said education director Nicole Temple. Lesson One, she says: "It's not Mexican Halloween."

Link to the WSJ article here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How Pepsi is Delivering More with iPhone's and iPad's

Great video on how Pepsi is leveraging technology with their in-house distribution and merch app on iPhone's and iPad's to improve customer satisfaction (retailers and consumers) efficiently.

Some key highlights:

• “In North America we run approximately 17,000 distribution routes a day,” says Brian Spearman, Senior Vice President of Go-To-Market and Service for PepsiCo North America Beverages. “We have to get the products from our manufacturing and warehouse facilities onto our trucks and into stores in time to meet demand. With iPhone and iPad, we can be more efficient and get in front of problems before they even happen.”
• To make merchandising and distribution as seamless as possible, PepsiCo North America Beverages created Power4Merch, a custom in-house app for iPhone. With Power4Merch, merchandisers are immediately notified when a driver has arrived at a store and can be sure that deliveries are unloaded quickly and displayed correctly, so the right products are always on the shelf and ready to buy.
• “A manager can make manpower assignments right on iPad,” Uppaluri says. “It automatically sends a push notification to the merchandiser’s iPhone, so he knows he's got a new stop. Life before was all about being on the phone, checking email in the office, checking paperwork. Now with iPad, the manager starts and ends his day where he needs to be, with his team.”

Link to article here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Look Closer To See The Demograhic Future of the US

The U.S. Census recently released various interactive graphics showing the countries of origin of Hispanics around the US.  The maps reflect the expected, Puerto Rican population clustered in the DC-Boston corridor, majority of Cuban population in Miami, and so on.

However, on closer inspection the Mexican population map is very interesting because it visually reveals how the US Hispanic population, which is majority Mexican ancestry, has expanded into almost every state of the union. Its a portent of the future of the country and how US Hispanics are  more and more a part of the social fabric not just in Calfornia and Texas, but Colorado, The Carolinas, Georgia, Oklahoma and even Arkansas.

The last Census raised awareness of skyrocketing Hispanic population growth in unexpected areas, such as the South and Midwest, but these new interactive graphic maps serve to communicate the breadth of the US Hispanic consumer expansion in a way that numbers and statics cannot.

With the 2010 data, the Census mapped 22 different origins that included Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. To access the interactive maps click here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

In Other News: Salsa Beats Ketchup 2.0

With the gov't shutdown and debt ceiling crisis over for now, it's time to change the conversation — to food.

Not surprisingly Salsa continues to pull ahead of Ketchup at a blistering pace with some familiar Mexican items not far behind — Tortillas replacing standard "Wonder Bread" and potato chips across the country getting a Mexican makeover with chile and limon flavors.

Not long ago the conventional wisdom was that Hispanics would assimilate to American culture, instead we are seeing the American culture, in certain cases and geographies, adopt parts of Hispanic culture. We see this in music, entertainment, recent presidential elections, but on a national level, its especially visible with food.

And Hispanic marketing experts and consultants are inventing new terms, such as Ambicultural™, to define how many in the US now easily mix and blend two cultures throughout their day, in family, work and leisure.

Money quotes:

"From queso fresco to chorizo, traditional Hispanic foods - or even just the flavors of them - are making their way into our everyday diet, particularly among the millennials - those born between the early `80s and the turn of the century. Generation Y's Hispanic community was born into an American culture but still holds onto its traditions, often eating white rice and seamlessly switching between English and Spanish."
"As immigrant and minority populations rewrite American demographics, the nation's collective menu is reflecting this flux, as it always has. And it goes beyond the mainstreaming of once-esoteric ethnic ingredients, something we've seen with everything from soy sauce to jalapenos."

"This is a rewrite of the American menu at the macro level, an evolution of whole patterns of how people eat. The difference this time? The biggest culinary voting bloc is Hispanic."
To read entire article click here.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

US Hispanics And Geosocial Check-in's

Pew Internet just released a study on Location-Based Services that indicates 24% of Hispanic smartphone owners, a higher % than White & Black Non-Hispanics, use Geosocial services like Foursquare to check in.

We are seeing the same behavior on social platforms with our brands on Facebook.  In the past 12 months we've seen the majority of consumers use mobile to "like" our pages on Facebook.

In the same study it was no surprise to see Facebook as the #1 choice for location-sharing or "check-in" services.  Facebook at 38% with Foursquare at 18% and Yelp at only 5%.

Link to the Pew Internet study here.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The "American Spanish-Speaking Audience"

Last weekend Instructions not Included was the hit nobody saw coming, unless you spoke Spanish and watched Spanish language TV networks like Univision and Telemundo.  Although US Hispanic consumers have always been avid moviegoers, a movie like Instructions, made specifically for them, generating the box office dollars it did, was a surprise that shouldn't of been any surprise.  

For many the US Hispanic consumer opportunity is still within their blind spot. Even with major markets transitioning into minority-majority status misperceptions on US Hispanics' purchasing power, shopping & media habits abound. 

For the movie the secret weapon is Eugenio Derbez, popular with the "American Spanish-speaking audience."
From Forbes: “Derbez is the biggest star you’ve never heard of,” says Presburger. “He’s huge in Mexico and with the American Spanish-speaking audience.”

And with no real marketing effort, except Derbez's cross- border social media influence (American Spanish-speaking audience) the movie generated a spectacular $28,000 PSA (per screen average) in its weekend debut.

From Forbes:
 The success of Instructions shows the value of niche markets. While most studios are going for the biggest bang from the biggest bucks (see every super hero movie made in the last five years), Pantelion is targeting a smaller group but one that goes to the movies a lot. There was never any thought to releasing Instructions directly to video on demand.
Link to article in Forbes here.

Friday, September 6, 2013

US Hispanics and Consumer Product Innovation

We are seeing increasing business media coverage on the US Hispanic segment.  The Financial Times recent article on US Hispanics focuses on how leading consumer packaged goods companies are innovating to better serve the needs of this increasingly important consumer segment.  Brands from the home country must innovate to stay in sync with both the evolution of US Hispanics and remain competitive at the retail shelf.

From FT:
"Nestlé began importing Abuelita hot chocolate and La Lechera condensed milk to the US from Mexico in the 1990s. However, Carlos Velasco, president of its international brands division, says it also has to develop new innovations to keep the brands relevant to “acculturated” Mexican-Americans as well as non-Hispanics."

"It offers Abuelita as a quick-stir powder for busy consumers who do not have time to use its traditional chocolate tablet, which can take up to 15 minutes to make a drink. Under the La Lechera name, it is now selling baking kits for Mexican-style cheesecakes.

And as developing economies slow down businesses are now realizing the opportunities of one of the most dynamic emerging markets, right here in the USA.

"But as economic growth in the developing world slows, companies are becoming more eager to win extra business from the group (US Hispanics), which some see as an emerging market within the world’s biggest economy."

Link to FT article here.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Remarkable Growth of US Hispanics - 1980 to 2011

In 1980 the U.S. Hispanic population was barely 15 million.  In the three decades since it has more than tripled to 52 million (2011) and expanded beyond traditional states into the Midwest and Southeast.

The PewResearch Hispanic Trends Project recently completed a study mapping the U.S. Hispanic population by state, county and city.  They have some great maps that show decade by decade growth of the U.S. Hispanic population.

The map gif above (The Atlantic Cities) shows U.S. Hispanic population growth from 1980 to 2011.  It clearly shows the dispersal of U.S. Hispanics beyond traditional states as well as growth along the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines.

From PewResearch: The nation’s Hispanic population, while still anchored in its traditional settlement areas, continues to disperse across the U.S. Today, the 100 largest counties by Hispanic population contain 71% of all Hispanics, but that is down from 75% in 2000 and 78% in 1990.

From The Atlantic Cities:  Hispanics still remain largely clustered in the Southwest and Florida: Today, fully 9 percent of all Hispanics in the United States live in Los Angeles County alone. And just 100 counties combined contain 71 percent of the Latino population (that's out of more than 3,000 counties nationwide).

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It's all content. It's just story.

Kevin Spacey drives home the point to a gathering of broadcasters that there is no difference on how content is labelled or delivered.

Money quote:
"For kids growing up now there's no difference, watching Avatar on an iPad or watching YouTube on a TV or watching Game of Thrones on a computer. It's all content. It's just story."

This applies to brands and marketers as well. What is your brand's story? Does it resonate with your fans, consumers? Are you persuading, informing them with content they are looking for? In a format that works for them?

Link to video here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Mexico: The Next India or China?

Mexico continues to get more and more attention on its manufacturing and export success.  In a NYT Op-Ed over the weekend Thomas Friedman stated that he believes Mexico will become the more dominant economic power in the 21st century. 

Of course he's making a point, but its not that unrealistic to see how Mexico has become an unlikely challenger to China and India.

Money quote:

Something happened here. It’s as if Mexicans subconsciously decided that their drug-related violence is a condition to be lived with and combated but not something to define them any longer. Mexico has signed 44 free trade agreements — more than any country in the world — which, according to The Financial Times, is more than twice as many as China and four times more than Brazil. Mexico has also greatly increased the number of engineers and skilled laborers graduating from its schools. Put all that together with massive cheap natural gas finds, and rising wage and transportation costs in China, and it is no surprise that Mexico now is taking manufacturing market share back from Asia and attracting more global investment than ever in autos, aerospace and household goods. 

Link to Op-Ed piece How Mexico Got Back In The Game.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Hispanic Consumers are into the Super Bowl

In 2012 Hispanic viewership was a record for Super Bowl XLVI with 10 million plus Hispanic viewers. 

The 10.4 million average viewership marks the second consecutive Super Bowl with at least 10 million Hispanic viewers and a 68 percent jump from Super Bowl XLI five years ago (6.2 million Hispanic viewers for the Feb. 4, 2007 game).

What will the Super Bowl XLVII Hispanic viewership numbers look like ? Vamos a ver.

Source: TV by the numbers, Robert Seidman

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mexico Rising

Almost by default when talking about Mexico the focus turns to cartels, drugs and violence. No doubt, its been a dreadful six years since the start of the campaign to rid the country of the narcotraficantes and related corruption.  But, behind all that a lesser known fact is Mexico's startling economic rise from the shadows.  In the past two years Mexico has suddenly become one of the most dynamic economies in the world, some estimate it will outpace Brazil by 2022.

Mexico: The New China, a NYT opinion piece by Chris Anderson, former editor of Wired, provides some key insights on how Mexico, and the US, will very likely continue to thrive.

Money quote:

The notion that Mexico offers only cheap labor is just plain off the mark. Mexico graduates some 115,000 engineering students per year — roughly three times as many as the U.S. on a per-capita basis. One result is that some machine specialists are typically easier to find in TJ (Tijuana) than in many big American cities. So, for that matter, are accountants experienced in production economics and other highly skilled workers.
What all these pieces add up to is a model — one that might hold the long-sought answer for how American manufacturers can compete with those in China, India and the next generation of economic powerhouses. That’s because the TJ template isn’t so much about outsourcing as it is quicksourcing. And that’s also the way to create thousands of good jobs in the United States.

Link to article Mexico: The New China.