Predominantly Spanish-speaking Hispanics tend to be brand-loyal, despite economic conditions

Mintel survey sheds light on personal care purchasing habits

CHICAGO — While many consumers tend to choose less expensive products when times are tough, lower-income Hispanics that predominantly speak Spanish tend to buy brand-name personal care products at a higher rate than their English-dominant counterparts, according to recent research by Mintel.

"Spanish-dominant Hispanics are most likely to stick to their favorite brand of hand soap, body soap and shower gel, signifying that less acculturated Hispanics remain loyal to the same brand despite the economy," stated Leylha Ahuile, senior multicultural analyst at Mintel. "English-dominant Hispanics tend to have higher household incomes and apparently are less concerned with brand-name soaps and more focused on saving money."

Sixty-four percent of Hispanics surveyed who have an income of $25,000 to $49,999 said they still buy name-brand body soaps or shower gels. Meanwhile, 64% of Spanish-dominant Hispanics, compared with 58% of English-dominant Hispanics, said they continue to buy brand-name body soaps or shower gels despite the economic downturn.

Spanish-dominant consumers also are more likely to stick to their favorite name-brand lotions (51%, compared with 35% of English-dominant consumers), facial cleansers (27% versus 20% of English-dominant consumers) and toothpaste or mouthwash (69% versus 65% of English-dominant consumers), refusing to trade down to more affordable private-label personal care products.

"In spite of Hispanics' lower-than-average household income level, they indexed higher than non-Hispanics in the consumption of personal care products in 2009," Ahuile added. "Over the last six years, Hispanics have consistently increased their spending on personal care products. And within personal care, Hispanics index higher than non-Hispanics in the subcategories of hair care products and bath products."

However, lower-income Hispanics still are interested in saving a few dollars with multifunctional products — 65% of those who earn $25,000 to $49,999 are interested in 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner, and 83% would be more inclined to purchase toothpaste that can also serve as a mouthwash and whitener, according to Mintel.

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