Cereal Snacks in the Hispanic Market: What They Like about Granola

Nov 17, 11 Cereal Snacks in the Hispanic Market: What They Like about Granola

 Tony D’Andrea, PhD

Director of Research and Planning – The San Jose Group

Originally a 1890s American invention, granola bars are now associated with notions of “on the go” healthy nutrition. Given that U.S. Hispanics are attached to the delicious culinary traditions of their ancestral homelands, it may be surprising to learn that 78% of Hispanic children and 60% of Hispanic adults regularly consume granola bars in America. While currently generating $120 million in grain snacks revenue annually, the 51 million Hispanics residing in the U.S. nowadays are a consumer base that provides fantastic opportunities for business growth in this category.

Yet, there are big differences in how Latinos consume cereal bars that have important marketing implications. For example, although U.S. Hispanics appreciate convenience as an important product attribute, they tend to eat cereal bars at home rather than on the go, work or school, which is predominantly done in the general market.

Moreover, while the general market focuses on the nutritional aspects of granola bars, for Hispanics, taste remains the primary attraction. Likewise, taste is one of the main barriers for non-consumers who avoid the product as they perceive them as old-style hard candy. Overall, it is worth noting that Hispanics have limited knowledge about the product. This provides a great entry-way for building a Hispanic consumer base already proven to be more attentive to advertising information comparatively to the general market.

The price of granola bars also matters to Hispanics, but it operates in non-linear ways requiring special consideration by cereal marketers. Paradoxically, the higher their income, the more price-sensitive and promotion-driven Hispanics are in relation to the granola bar purchase decision-making. In general, unacculturated, lower-income Hispanics prefer bulky value purchases at discount stores, whereas acculturated, higher-income Hispanics look for promotional and nutritional options in grocery stores. In sum, even as price behaves counter-intuitively, Hispanics are rational holistic shoppers, regularly balancing brand loyalty with promotional opportunities.

The main lesson here is that Latinos consume and perceive products, such as cereal bars, in unique ways. Issues of taste, price, promotion and information need to be integrated in marketing strategies that make cultural sense to this market segment. As such, an insensitive, mass markets approach could prove to be quite disappointing. Expertise from a multicultural marketing team, either internal or external to the marketer, is a necessary asset for succeeding in the Hispanic segment.

The San Jose Group is a premier multicultural marketing agency with over 30 years of experience helping clients’ brands connect with people. For more information on this article’s topic, please email sjgpr@sjadv.com or visit us at www.thesanjosegroup.com


  1. Great! thanks for the share!

  2. Your artlice was excellent and erudite.

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