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Black Consumers and the Perimeter in the Grocery Store - US - February 2014

“Black consumers are underserved in advertising and marketing as it relates to the perimeter of the grocery store. This consumer is prone to certain dietary issues that may be alleviated by incorporating more fresh produce, meat, and healthier diary options in their diet. Their receptivity to advertising coupled with their love for food and grocery shopping presents a unique opportunity for marketers.”

– Tonya Roberts, Multicultural Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • What can the food industry do to promote healthy eating among Black consumers?
  • How can companies encourage Black consumers to prepare foods in healthier ways?
  • How can grocery manufacturers and retailers attract Black consumers?

In 2014, African-Americans represent about 13% of the total US population and their numbers are expected to increase from 2014-19. Black consumers tend to be younger than the average, and from larger and female-headed households compared with the general market. Despite lower household incomes and higher unemployment rates, Black spending power is projected to reach $1.3 trillion in 2017. Black consumers are more likely than White consumers to buy fresh produce, poultry, and fish.

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Table of contents

  1. Scopes and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Expenditure data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                      • Category expenditures
                        • Figure 1: Black household expenditures and forecast for grocery perimeter food categories*, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2008-13 (est)
                        • Figure 2: Black and Hispanic household share of expenditures for grocery perimeter food categories, by category, 2011 and 2013 (est)
                      • The consumer
                        • Where Blacks shop, store preferences, and shopping habits
                          • Figure 3: Where Blacks most often purchase grocery perimeter food categories*, November 2013
                          • Figure 4: Top supermarkets and food stores where Blacks shop, by US Census region, July 2012-September 2013
                          • Figure 5: Factors influencing Blacks’ choice of where to shop for groceries, November 2013
                          • Figure 6: Blacks’ attitudes toward shopping for groceries at specialty counters/departments, November 2013
                          • Figure 7: Purchases organic or private label products, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                          • Figure 8: Factors Impacting where consumers shop for groceries, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                          • Figure 9: Appeal of loyalty reward cards, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                        • The produce department
                          • Figure 10: Blacks’ attitudes toward fresh fruit and vegetables, November 2013
                        • In the dairy case
                          • Figure 11: Types of milk and non-dairy milk purchased, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2012
                          • Figure 12: Blacks’ attitudes toward the benefits of yogurt, June 2013
                          • Figure 13: Types of butter or margarine Blacks consume, June 2013
                        • The bakery
                          • Meat and seafood
                            • Figure 14: Monthly consumption of fresh fish and seafood, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2013
                          • Marketing strategies
                            • What we think
                            • Issues and Insights

                                • What can the food industry do to promote healthy eating among Black consumers?
                                  • The issues: A large number of Black consumers are lactose intolerant
                                    • The implications:
                                      • While Black consumers are changing what they eat, they still prepare foods in an unhealthy way
                                        • The issues:
                                          • The implications:
                                            • An untapped market: How can grocery manufacturers and retailers attract Black consumers?
                                              • The issues:
                                                • The implications:
                                                • Trend Applications

                                                    • Trend: Return to the Experts
                                                      • Trend: Make It Mine
                                                        • Mintel Futures: Access Anything, Anywhere
                                                        • Grocery Expenditures

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Blacks spend significantly more on groceries than at restaurants
                                                              • Figure 15: Share of total food expenditures by Black households for food at home and food away from home, 2008-13 (est)
                                                            • Blacks spent more than $24 billion on groceries, slight increase since 2008
                                                              • Figure 16: Black household expenditures and forecast for grocery perimeter food categories*, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2008-13 (est)
                                                            • Blacks allocate more of their grocery budget to meat, fruit, and vegetables
                                                              • Figure 17: Black household expenditures and forecast for grocery perimeter food categories, by category, at current prices, 2011 and 2013 (est)
                                                            • Spending is steady for fish and dairy, but increases in meat and produce
                                                              • Figure 18: Black household expenditures for grocery perimeter food categories, by category, at current prices, 2008-13 (est)
                                                            • Blacks direct more of their budget toward fish, seafood, produce
                                                              • Figure 19: Black and Hispanic household share of expenditures for grocery perimeter food categories, by category, 2011 and 2013 (est)
                                                          • Where Blacks Shop for Groceries

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Perimeter items most likely purchased from large chain supermarkets
                                                                • Figure 20: Where Blacks most often purchase grocery perimeter food categories*, November 2013
                                                              • Stores shopped varies based on what they’re buying
                                                                • Figure 21: Where Blacks most often purchase grocery perimeter food categories, by category, November 2013
                                                              • Millennials shop a wide variety of stores, including online grocers
                                                                • Figure 22: Where Blacks most often purchase grocery perimeter food categories*, by age, November 2013
                                                              • Higher-income Blacks more likely to shop club and specialty stores
                                                                • Figure 23: Where Blacks most often purchase grocery perimeter food categories*, by household income, November 2013
                                                              • Walmart is top destination, especially among Blacks and Hispanics
                                                                • Figure 24: Top stores consumers shop, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2012-September 2013
                                                              • Blacks in the Northeast shop Walmart less than those in other regions
                                                                • Figure 25: Top supermarkets and food stores where Blacks shop, by US Census region, July 2012-September 2013
                                                            • Grocery Shopping Habits

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Blacks enjoy grocery shopping, prefer one-stop shopping
                                                                  • Figure 26: Factors influencing Blacks’ choice of where to shop for groceries, November 2013
                                                                • Younger people love to shop – will go out of their way to get what they want
                                                                  • Figure 27: Factors influencing Blacks’ choice of where to shop for groceries, by age, November 2013
                                                                • Higher-income Blacks are willing to shop multiple stores
                                                                  • Figure 28: Factors influencing Blacks’ choice of where to shop for groceries, by household income, November 2013
                                                                • Mobile apps may drive use of grocery lists; bulk buying is also common
                                                                  • Figure 29: Shopping occasions and Blacks’ attitudes toward grocery shopping, November 2013
                                                                • Younger Blacks prefer shopping at the last minute for groceries
                                                                  • Figure 30: Shopping occasions and Blacks’ choice of where to shop for groceries, by age, November 2013
                                                              • Attitudes toward Specialty Counters

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Ability to customize, freshness, value drive Blacks to specialty counters
                                                                    • Figure 31: Blacks’ attitudes toward shopping for groceries at specialty counters/departments, November 2013
                                                                  • Specialty counters hold greater appeal among higher-income Blacks
                                                                    • Figure 32: Blacks’ attitudes toward shopping for groceries at specialty counters/departments, by household income, November 2013
                                                                  • Black consumers are less likely than Whites to buy private label
                                                                    • Figure 33: Purchases organic or private label products, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                                                                • In-store Grocery Experiences

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Proximity to home and fast and easy checkout are a major plus
                                                                      • Figure 34: Impact of convenience on where consumers shop for groceries, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                                                                    • Blacks are eager for new ideas and may turn to grocery staff for guidance
                                                                      • Figure 35: Impact of store experience on where consumers shop for groceries, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                                                                    • Black consumers want more locally grown foods
                                                                      • Figure 36: Types of food choices consumers want more of, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                                                                    • Interactions with staff are important to Black shoppers
                                                                      • Figure 37: Customer service enhancements needed, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                                                                  • Grocery Promotions

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Grassroots efforts can win the hearts of Blacks and Hispanics
                                                                        • Figure 38: Importance of grocers to support local charities/organizations, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                                                                      • Mobile technology important, traditional methods can still be effective
                                                                        • Figure 39: Attitudes toward grocery store technology, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2013
                                                                      • Fewer Blacks use coupons; instead, they shop around for the best deals
                                                                        • Figure 40: Saving strategies when grocery shopping, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                                                                      • Loyalty cards are a huge winner among Blacks
                                                                        • Figure 41: Appeal of loyalty reward cards, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                                                                      • Personalized coupons, gas rewards, and mobile technology are ways to increase store traffic
                                                                        • Figure 42: Types of promotions consumers want more of, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                                                                      • BOGO offers are highly effective, special promotions a way to lure new customers
                                                                        • Figure 43: Attitudes toward grocery specials and promotions, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2013
                                                                      • Blacks get a thrill out of shopping, low prices throughout the store is a turn-on
                                                                        • Figure 44: Impact of price on shopping, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2013
                                                                      • Quality is more important than low cost
                                                                        • Figure 45: Impact of price on quality perceptions, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2013
                                                                      • Blacks less likely to blame economic factors, willing to make sacrifices to offset increases
                                                                        • Figure 46: Attitudes toward impact of grocery price increases, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2013
                                                                    • Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Blacks are twice as likely as Whites to eat 5+ servings of vegetables a day
                                                                          • Figure 47: Frequency of incorporating vegetables into daily diet, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013
                                                                        • Blacks are three times as likely as Whites to eat 5+ servings of fruit
                                                                          • Figure 48: Frequency of incorporating fruit into daily diet, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013
                                                                        • Blacks want to eat more, opportunity exists for fresh and organic produce
                                                                          • Figure 49: Blacks’ attitudes toward fruits and vegetables, November 2013
                                                                        • Low income would eat more if cost less, higher income concerned about pesticides
                                                                          • Figure 50: Blacks’ attitudes toward fruits and vegetables, by household income, November 2013
                                                                        • Blacks receptive to programs like Let’s Move!
                                                                          • Figure 51: Attitudes toward labeling and communications for produce, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013
                                                                        • Products that offer some conveniences are sure to do well among Blacks
                                                                          • Figure 52: Attitudes toward convenience of produce, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013
                                                                      • Dairy Products

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Most don’t feel they need to cut down on dairy
                                                                            • Figure 53: Blacks’ attitudes toward dairy products, November 2013
                                                                          • Milk
                                                                            • Lactose intolerance may tarnish perceptions of milk’s health benefits
                                                                              • Figure 54: Blacks’ attitudes toward dairy products, November 2013
                                                                            • Cow’s milk is the type of milk the majority of Black consumers drink
                                                                              • Figure 55: Types of milk and non-dairy milk purchased, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2012
                                                                              • Figure 56: Attitudes toward non-dairy milk, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2012
                                                                              • Figure 57: Things that would increase milk purchases, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2012
                                                                            • Cheese
                                                                              • Blacks are less concerned about sodium and fat content in natural cheese
                                                                                • Figure 58: Attitudes toward natural cheese, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2013
                                                                              • Yogurt
                                                                                • Blacks consume regular yogurt and Greek yogurt similarly
                                                                                  • Figure 59: Types of yogurt consumed, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2013
                                                                                • Yogurt’s all-around health benefits and dessert-like appeal win among Blacks
                                                                                  • Figure 60: Benefits of yogurt, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2013
                                                                                • Butter and margarine
                                                                                  • Blacks say butter is better for them than margarine
                                                                                    • Figure 61: Blacks’ attitudes toward dairy products, November 2013
                                                                                  • Butter is preferred over margarine, but more Blacks eat margarine than White consumers
                                                                                    • Figure 62: Types of butter, margarine or oil consumed, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2013
                                                                                  • Blacks are less loyal to butter brands, receptive to flavored butter
                                                                                    • Figure 63: Receptivity of trying different types of butter, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2013
                                                                                • Bakery Items

                                                                                    • Blacks buy bread equally from bakery counter or bakery aisle in grocery stores
                                                                                      • Figure 64: Where bakery items are purchased, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                                                                                    • Better ingredients, ability to customize order, and freshness drive Blacks to bakery counter
                                                                                      • Figure 65: Why consumers prefer in-store bakeries, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                                                                                    • Blacks interested in breakfast bakery items and mini or single-serve items
                                                                                      • Figure 66: Types of bakery items interested in purchasing, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012
                                                                                  • Fish and Seafood

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Blacks eat fish and seafood to balance diet and get additional nutrients
                                                                                        • Figure 67: Blacks’ attitudes toward fish and seafood – diet/health benefits, November 2013
                                                                                      • Blacks prefer fresh fish over canned or frozen
                                                                                        • Figure 68: Blacks’ attitudes toward fish and seafood – quality/availability, November 2013
                                                                                      • Blacks buy more fresh fish and seafood than White consumers
                                                                                        • Figure 69: Monthly consumption of fresh fish and seafood, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2013
                                                                                      • Blacks tend to buy the same type of fish
                                                                                        • Figure 70: Fish shopping behaviors, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2013
                                                                                    • Meat and Poultry

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Blacks are skeptical about meat, want more FDA oversight and labeling
                                                                                          • Figure 71: Blacks’ attitudes toward red meat, November 2013
                                                                                        • Blacks consume less pork and beef than Whites and Hispanics
                                                                                          • Figure 72: Types of meat consumed, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2013
                                                                                        • Red meat and pork
                                                                                          • Blacks are brand loyal when it comes to beef, labels guide them on what to buy
                                                                                            • Figure 73: Attitudes toward red meat, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2013
                                                                                          • Blacks are less likely to read labels on pork than beef
                                                                                            • Figure 74: Attitudes toward pork, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2013
                                                                                          • Poultry
                                                                                            • Blacks are much more likely to buy poultry than White consumers
                                                                                              • Figure 75: Types of poultry consumed, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2013
                                                                                            • Blacks are highly selective about where they buy poultry
                                                                                              • Figure 76: Attitudes toward brand loyalty for poultry, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2013
                                                                                            • Lunch/deli meat
                                                                                              • Turkey and chicken are the top lunch meats Blacks purchase
                                                                                                • Figure 77: Types of lunch/deli meat consumed, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2013
                                                                                              • Meat purchased at deli counter is considered fresher and higher quality
                                                                                                • Figure 78: Attitudes toward lunch/deli meat, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2013
                                                                                            • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Overview of the brand landscape
                                                                                                  • Brand Analysis: Walmart
                                                                                                    • Low Price Guarantee Campaign
                                                                                                      • Figure 79: Walmart, “Low Price Guarantee” campaign, August 2013
                                                                                                    • Neighborhood Grocer Campaign
                                                                                                      • Figure 80: Walmart, “Neighborhood Grocer” Campaign, January 2013
                                                                                                    • Supplier Diversity
                                                                                                      • Figure 81: Supplier Diversity at Walmart: Positively Perfect Dolls by World of EPI
                                                                                                  • US Black Population

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • US population by race/Hispanic origin
                                                                                                        • Figure 82: Population, by race/Hispanic origin, 2009-19
                                                                                                        • Figure 83: Asian, Black, and Hispanic populations, 1970-2020
                                                                                                      • Age
                                                                                                        • Generations by race
                                                                                                          • Figure 84: US population by race and generation, 2014
                                                                                                        • Black population by age
                                                                                                          • Figure 85: US Black population, by age, 2009-19
                                                                                                          • Figure 86: US Population, by age, 2009-19
                                                                                                        • US Black geographic concentration
                                                                                                          • Figure 87: Black geographic concentration, by region, 2010
                                                                                                        • Black population by state
                                                                                                          • Figure 88: States with largest Black population, 2011
                                                                                                          • Figure 89: States with largest Black population, by distribution, 2008
                                                                                                        • Population by geographic concentration
                                                                                                          • Figure 90: States (including District of Columbia) ranked with the highest share of Black residents, 2011
                                                                                                        • Black metro areas
                                                                                                          • Figure 91: Metropolitan status of Black households, 2006 and 2011
                                                                                                          • Figure 92: Top 10 metropolitan areas with the largest number of Black residents, 2010
                                                                                                        • Black households
                                                                                                          • Figure 93: Average household size, by race/Hispanic origin/race of householder, 2001 and 2011
                                                                                                          • Figure 94: Presence and ages of children in the household, by race/Hispanic origin, 2011
                                                                                                          • Figure 95: Marital status, by race and Hispanic origin, 2011
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Additional Tables

                                                                                                          • Figure 96: Blacks’ attitudes toward shopping at specialty counters/departments, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 97: Blacks’ attitudes toward shopping occasions, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 98: Where Blacks most often purchase grocery perimeter food categories*, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 99: Where Blacks most often purchase grocery perimeter food categories*, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 100: Where Blacks most often purchase grocery perimeter food categories*, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 101: Blacks’ attitudes toward fruits and vegetables, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 102: Blacks’ attitudes toward shopping at specialty counters/departments, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 103: Where Blacks most often purchase fresh fruit and vegetables, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 104: Where Blacks most often purchase fresh fruit and vegetables, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 105: Blacks’ attitudes toward dairy products, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 106: Blacks’ attitudes toward dairy products, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 107: Blacks’ attitudes toward shopping at specialty counters/departments, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 108: Where Blacks most often purchase dairy products, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 109: Where Blacks most often purchase dairy products, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 110: Blacks’ attitudes toward fish and seafood, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 111: Where Blacks most often purchase fresh seafood and fish, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 112: Where Blacks most often purchase fresh seafood and fish, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 113: Blacks’ attitudes toward red meat, poultry, and pork, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 114: Blacks’ attitudes toward dairy products, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 115: Blacks’ attitudes toward fish and seafood, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 116: Blacks’ attitudes toward shopping at specialty counters/departments, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 117: Blacks’ attitudes toward red meat, poultry, and pork, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 118: Blacks’ attitudes toward shopping at specialty counters/departments, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 119: Where Blacks most often purchase fresh meat, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 120: Where Blacks most often purchase fresh meat, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                        To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                        Black Consumers and the Perimeter in the Grocery Store - US - February 2014

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