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Brief Published: 27 Mar 2015

Rise of the Multicultural Consumer

Multicultural consumers influence wider consumer spending

Multicultural consumers are the fastest-growing segment of the US consumer economy, and drive wider spending habits across product categories, according to a new report from global research firm Nielsen.

Multicultural consumers – defined as those from African-American, Asian and Hispanic backgrounds – make up 38% of the US population, and boast a combined spending power of $3.4tn, The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers report found. By 2044, they will make up the majority of the US population.

The report found that multicultural consumers are empowered and culture-driven shoppers, with spending habits that influence other consumer groups. Multicultural "Super Consumers", representing the top 10% of households, drive at least 30% of sales, 40% of growth and 50% of profits of any consumer product category.

Younger than the rest of the population, multicultural consumers have an "ambicultural identity" – assimilating with both American culture and their cultural heritage. These consumers gravitate towards brands that reinforce their cultural roots.

Their tastes and preferences are also filtering through to the mainstream. Hot sauce is now a mainstream condiment (the market has grown 150% since 2000, according to Euromonitor), while once-ethnic foods such as sushi and tacos are now ubiquitous.

Look out for more insights into the multicultural consumer in our upcoming SXSW report Dissolving Demographics, coming soon to Stylus. In the meantime, read more about the influence of multicultural consumers on food in Millennial Hispanics & Food.