Press Release

Nielsen releases new report highlighting the multicultural influence across grocery’s fast-growing perimeter categories

Press Release

Nielsen releases new report highlighting the multicultural influence across grocery’s fast-growing perimeter categories

New York, NY, February 16, 2017—With the rapid growth of multicultural households in America and their unparalleled influence on the marketplace, there is a strong need for retailers to revise their in-store strategies to include a wider range of fresh food products and flavor profiles that cater to the multicultural consumer set.  With this in mind, Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) released today a comprehensive report to help retailers understand the influence multicultural consumers wield across the meat, produce, seafood, deli, and bakery categories.  The report entitled, A Fresh Look at Multicultural Consumers, reveals strategic insights for retailers looking to leverage new growth opportunities across the perimeter, over the next several decades.

Multicultural consumers are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population and the growth engine for fresh food categories within the grocery space.  According to the latest Nielsen report, multicultural households spend a higher share on Fresh as a percentage of their total food spend compared to non-Hispanic White households. In fact, multicultural consumer shoppers make 3% more trips to the store containing fresh items and spend 4% more per year on fresh items, resulting in a $2.2 billion opportunity for retailers.  For many multicultural families, fresh is a dietary staple.  The multicultural preference for fresh comes from cooking and eating norms that centrally reflect the unique cultures of African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanics.  That said, the allure of multicultural flavors and desire for fresh are influencing a wider range of shoppers, and becoming a key driving force for fresh growth.   

“In order to tap this critical market, retailers need to rethink their delivery and assortment strategies of fresh products being offered to today’s increasingly multicultural shoppers,” said Courtney Jones, Vice President of Multicultural Growth & Strategy at Nielsen.  “To be successful, retailers must understand the importance that culturally relevant, fresh offerings play in the multicultural shopper landscape.  Retailers must also embrace the many layers of multicultural consumers and the undeniable “halo effect” that those consumers are having on mainstream non-Hispanic White shoppers. The multicultural consumer covers a broad spectrum, from multi-generational families to millennials, to Asian American, African American, and Hispanic subgroups that have been influenced by distinct global culinary traditions. Retailers must consider the multiethnic tastes of their current and desired customers and recognize that the palates that favor multicultural flavors are influencing the taste preferences of non-Hispanic whites and society at-large.”

Key report findings

Insights from the deli department:

  • Multicultural flavors are “mainstream” in the deli and continue to grow.
  • Non-Hispanic white shoppers are inspired by the ethnic flavors found within the deli.
  • Multicultural consumers are taking advantage of the quick and easy meal solutions and meals for large families within the deli department.

Insights from the produce department:

  • Multicultural produce excites all kinds of shoppers.
  • Social media influencers and popular restaurant flavor trends are infiltrating the produce aisle. For example, the growth of Habanero, with items popping like Habanero grilled vegetable and even habanero margaritas.

Insights from the meat + seafood department:

  • Multicultural consumers spend more in meat and seafood departments than any other fresh department.
  • Within the seafood department, multicultural households spend $62 a year on compared to non-Hispanic white households at just $43.
  • Multicultural consumers are less willing to purchase branded fresh meat and seafood items; instead there is preference towards made-to-order, unbranded meat products, typically prepared behind the counter.

Insights from the bakery department:

  • The bakery offers the biggest opportunity for multicultural consumers, who spend only 9.8% of their fresh dollars on Bakery.
  • The bakery’s proximity to the deli should be leveraged to create strong cross-department connections for multicultural shoppers across multiple entertaining categories.

For a summary of Nielsen’s A Fresh Look at Multicultural Consumers report findings, please click here. To purchase the full report, please contact

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Nielsen is divided into two business units. Nielsen Global Media, the arbiter of truth for media markets, provides media and advertising industries with unbiased and reliable metrics that create a shared understanding of the industry required for markets to function. Nielsen Global Connect provides consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers with accurate, actionable information and insights and a complete picture of the complex and changing marketplace that companies need to innovate and grow.

Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge.

An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit

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