Tradition, heritage drive Hispanics' protein consumption habits, study finds

NPD Group study finds chicken, beans figure most prominently

CHICAGO — Hispanics often tick to their own traditions when it comes to selecting protein-rich foods, according to a new study.

Hispanics consume disproportionately high amounts of legumes, eggs, chicken and seafood compared with non-Hispanics, and the level of importance of these foods remains relatively unchanged from five years ago, and tradition and heritage drive meal choices among both Spanish- and English-speaking Hispanics, according to the NPD Group's "NET Hispanic" study. NET stands for "national eating trends."

"It's important for manufacturers and retailers to understand the role that tradition and heritage play in U.S. Hispanics food and beverage choices," NPD food and beverage industry analyst Darren Seifer said. "Understanding which product categories appeal to each Hispanic consumer group will be critical to effectively connecting with these consumers, and understanding the situations and motivations that drive category consumption will enable food companies to influence future sales to these groups."

The study found that Hispanics report chicken and beans as the proteins that most reflect their heritage, and chicken features in more afternoon meals among Hispanics than among non-Hispanics, but they still consume beef and yogurt at frequencies comparable to non-Hispanics. Cheese, nuts and seeds, peanut butter and turkey are consumed less frequently.

The study noted that the foods and beverages served in Hispanic households in the United States were the result of centuries of family tradition and national cuisine originating in Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba and other Spanish-speaking countries.


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