U.S. Hispanics Are More Likely To Source Protein Based on Meal Traditions, Reports NPD

Chicago, April 17, 2013 — While U.S. Hispanics and non-Hispanics consume foods high in protein, Hispanics consume chicken, legumes, eggs, and fish/seafood more frequently than non-Hispanics, finds The NPD Group, a leading global information company. From a trend perspective, these foods have maintained a similar level of importance among Hispanics compared to five years ago, except for legumes that have declined somewhat, according to NPD’s NET® (National Eating Trends®) Hispanic research. Among both English- and Spanish-dominant U.S. Hispanics, tradition and heritage are among the factors that drive meal time choices including sources of protein, finds NPD.

Foods and beverages served in U.S. Hispanic households are the result of centuries of family tradition and national cuisine carried from origins in Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and other Spanish-speaking countries in the Caribbean and Central/Latin/South America. Chicken (pollo) and beans (frijoles) are proteins that U.S. Hispanics say are among the top foods that most reflect their Hispanic heritage, finds NPD’s NET Hispanic research. Chicken is the top main dish food included in U.S. Hispanics’ in-home dinner meals and is included in more afternoon meals compared to those of non-Hispanics.

Although U.S. Hispanics have unique preferences in protein, they do consume beef and yogurt at a similar rate as non-Hispanics.  Compared to five years ago, beef consumption has declined in importance among Hispanics while yogurt has grown.  Protein foods that Hispanics consume less frequently than non-Hispanics include cheese, nuts/seeds, peanut butter and turkey, reports NPD.

“It’s important for manufacturers and retailers to understand the role that tradition and heritage play in U.S. Hispanics’ food and beverage choices,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “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.”

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