What Economic Crisis? A Glimpse of Economic Hope from the Hispanic Consumer

Apr 17, 09 What Economic Crisis? A Glimpse of Economic Hope from the Hispanic Consumer

Can you think of the last time that you turned on the news and didn’t hear a mention of the “economic crisis”? It’s certainly been a while. You can imagine our excitement when we heard about a company that was having tremendous success in this difficult economic environment – driven predominantly by the Hispanic consumer.

We contacted Chris Hartmann of Midway Importing, a Houston-based company founded 20-odd years ago. They have found a successful niche in importing brands that are popular in Latin America and marketing them to the U.S. Hispanic consumer through distribution deals and brand development. Midway Importing has reached licensing agreements to import health and beauty care products with numerous multinational companies, including Bristol-Myers and GlaxoSmithKline.

Remarkably, Midway Importing is projecting 15% growth this year! Below are some of the key factors and observations that Chris noted are helping to drive this growth.

“The Hispanic consumer is very resilient” –Chris believes that the following factors help fuel this resilience:

– Less invested in the stock market
– Less credit card debt
– Fewer mortgages
– Less of a new phenomenon – likely experienced economic challenges in Latin America

Question to consider: Is the Hispanic consumer exhibiting resilience in spending in your category? If so, what can you do to take advantage of the opportunity to grow with them?

“Growth coming from quality products that offer good value” – While this may seem obvious on the surface, I found it to be noteworthy because he conscientiously did not say the lowest priced goods – he deliberately chose the words quality and value. Even more interesting is that the top three retail channels that are driving growth for Midway (Wal-Mart, Target, and CVS) all stand for quality and value, but each one in its own unique way.

Question to consider: What type of value does your brand offer the Hispanic consumer? Just as importantly, how do you communicate it?

“We have been increasing our ad dollars, as now is a great time to cut through less clutter and communicate with the Hispanic consumer” – Chris is seeing many of his competitors decrease their ad spend, which is making it easier for his brands to get through to and connect with the consumer.

Question to consider: Are your core competitors decreasing their spending, and if so, how can you wisely adjust your investment to take advantage of this opportunity?

It is our hope that you find Midway Importing’s success story with the Hispanic consumer as inspiring and enlightening as we did. If you would like to discuss this interview or how these findings may affect your business, please contact us – we love to discuss ways to spur growth in any economic environment!

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