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Sheri Hebbeln
 
December 10, 2013 | Sheri Hebbeln

Hispanic consumers represent growing market for wine

You might want to reconsider your target audience for your wine marketing plans. The conventional perception in the wine industry was Hispanic customers - particularly those of Mexican descent - prefer to drink beer and tequila, but this may be changing. This key demographic will account for significant growth in the U.S. wine industry in the next decade, according to a report from Wine Intelligence.

There are more than 50 million people of Hispanic origin in the U.S., and if you're not tailoring your marketing mess age to reach this group, you're missing out on plenty of potential sales. The report cited research from Nielsen that found this group wields $1.2 trillion in consumer spending power. In fact, Hispanics will account for 11 percent of all purchasing capabilities by 2017, USA Today said. Many big-name advertisers in other industries are targeting this crucial group with marketing messages because they recognize it's key to their success.

The previous assumption that wine marketing efforts would be lost on Hispanics just isn't true. "Hispanic wine drinkers in the U.S. have a strong social and cultural affinity for wine," said Lulie Halstead, CEO of Wine Intelligence. "The majority of first generation Hispanics arrive in America as wine drinkers, and our research shows that their wine preferences evolve as they spend more time here."

Sending the right marketing message
Marketing to Hispanics can be challenging for wineries because Wine Intelligence noted there tends to be a shift in preferences across generations. For example, people who emigrate from wine-producing countries, such as Chile, Argentina and Spain, arrive with a cultural preference for wine. However, second-generation Hispanics typically shift their tastes and may end preferring Australian vintages.

The message definitely matters when trying to sway this important demographic. Dual-language campaigns are popular with Hispanic consumers, USA Today said. But keep in mind that a word-for-word translation isn't always the best approach -it can lead to cultural issues.

Hispanic market represents big opportunity for online wine sales
Experian Marketing Services recently found Hispanic consumers have a significant preference for e-commerce. Hispanic adults are more likely to visit online retail websites than the average Internet shopping population. If you're looking to boost direct-to-consumer sales, there's no better audience to target.

The analysis also revealed Hispanic shoppers are purchasing holiday presents earlier in the season this year, and they are highly likely to research products and make purchases from smartphones, especially through mobile commerce websites. One of the most frequented sites? None other than online retailing giant Amazon.

Wine marketers who succeed in connecting with this demographic will need to take a multichannel approach to engage customers. Hispanics are continuing to gain spending power, making it more important to acknowledge their taste for wine. And thanks to their affinity for online shopping, the Hispanic market could be a significant source DTC sales growth. 

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