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New SymphonyIRI-Synovate report presents new look at Hispanic consumer

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Hispanics will wield $1.2 trillion in buying power in less than a year, the SymphonyIRI Group and partner Synovate noted Wednesday in a new joint market research report.

The two companies created HispanicLink to help retailers and manufacturers more effectively develop marketing and merchandising programs to reach this burgeoning demographic. The analysis included intel on Hispanics’ shopping habits, cooking, eating and drinking behaviors, health-and-wellness practices and their media preferences.

“[Consumer packaged goods] retailers and manufacturers need to have a better understanding of Hispanic consumers to effectively focus their marketing efforts and win at the shelf,” stated Bob Tomei, president of consumer and shopper marketing for SymphonyIRI.

“This is no easy task when considering the complexity of the Hispanic population, so the HispanicLink report breaks down this multifaceted group in terms of acculturation, language preference and attitudes, and examines their shopping patterns and motivations,” Tomei added. “Retailers and manufacturers no longer have to take a one-size-fits-all approach with Hispanic consumers and can leverage these insights to develop targeted marketing programs.”

The report also contained a survey and shopping basket analysis component. The survey portion answered questions about Hispanic preferences to help reveal differences in attitudes and the critical “why behind the buy” among more and less acculturated Hispanic households versus non-Hispanic households. Findings included key facts about Hispanic attitudes, preferences and needs that fuel decisions and impact strategies regarding channel selection, product selection, new product opportunities and co-promotion opportunities.

The shopping basket analysis delivered an in-depth view into how Hispanic households shop various classes of trade. It also ranked which categories most likely are to appear in the cart of the average Hispanic household and compared it to a non-Hispanic household.

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Whole Foods Q1 income jumps 79%, same-store sales up 9.1%

BY DSN STAFF

AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market’s first-quarter net income surged 79% to $88.7 million, on an increase in customer visits and a rise in average transactions. The natural and organic foods grocer raised 2011 profit outlook on its strong results, which beat expectations.

Sales for the quarter, ended Jan. 16, increased 14% to $3 billion. Same-store sales were up 9.1%, the highest level in four years. On a conference call with analysts, Walter Robb, Whole Foods’ co-CEO, said average weekly sales per store for all stores increased 9% to $621,000, translating to sales per sq. ft. of approximately $856. "We are proud that we are continuing to gain market share at a much faster rate than most public food retailers," Robb said.

Whole Foods opened three stores and expanded one store in the first quarter. It expects to open three new stores, including one relocation, in the second quarter. The company also recently signed leases in Ottawa, Canada; Danbury, Conn.; Jamaica Plain and Lynnfield, Mass.; Marlboro, N.J.; and San Antonio. These stores currently are scheduled to open in fiscal year 2012 and beyond.

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License to sell beer: Martin’s new Marketplace Café allows store to navigate state’s archaic liquor laws

BY Alaric DeArment

CARLISLE, Pa. — A Martin’s Food Markets store in Indiana, Pa., has opened the doors to its new Marketplace Café, the chain announced.

Martin’s, part of Royal Ahold’s Giant-Carlisle branch, said the chain had received a restaurant liquor license from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and would sell domestic and imported beer for customers dining in and carrying out.

The café also will stock such food items as hot and cold sandwiches, wraps and paninis; a salad bar; soups; baked goods and coffees.

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