Mintel research sheds light on beverage preferences of Hispanic consumers

CHICAGO — Hispanics are more likely to consume certain nonalcoholic and alcoholic beverages when compared with any other ethnic group, according to new Mintel research.

Mintel said that while Hispanics' consumption of nearly all nonalcoholic beverages outweigh other ethnic groups' consumption, 56% of them reported they drink thirst quenchers/sports drink, compared with 38% of white consumers, 50% of African-American consumers and 39% of Asian-American consumers. Mintel said the reason for this could be due to the relative youth of the Hispanic market, as well as "the likelihood that these consumers perform manual labor jobs, where thirst quenchers prove beneficial."

In addition to the consumption of thirst quenchers/sports drinks, Hispanics drink more imported beer than any other ethnicity (34% versus 28% of total population). What's more, 27% of Hispanics drink tequila, the highest percentage for any ethnic group. In contrast, the least likely beverage U.S. Hispanics will consume is wine (23% versus 33% of the total population).

"When choosing how to spend their beverage dollars, Hispanics' country of origin, income, acculturation level and age drive their purchasing decisions," Mintel senior multicultural analyst at Mintel Leylha Ahuile said. "Lifestyle is also important, including family size and the presence of children in the household.

"Many U.S. Hispanics, particularly Mexicans, have not been exposed to wine in their home country, so there isn't a wine drinking culture or tradition," Ahuile added. "However, we expect this to change in the coming years as it is already on the rise. Between 2005 and 2010, the number of glasses of wine consumed by Hispanics per month increased by nearly 50%. Many of these Hispanic wine consumers are second or third generation and their level of acculturation is impacting their wine consumption habits."

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