Mexican Food - US - February 2011
Given the size of the growing Hispanic population in the U.S., it would appear that there would be a built-in audience for Mexican food. Indeed, this is the case as this group is among the largest users of these products. However, what has helped grow Mexican food into a multi-billion category is the fact that it has become decidedly mainstream in many aspects. So much so that it is possible that consumers do not even think of some of the product segments as being associated with Mexican food (e.g., tortilla chips).
Increasingly, and as a means of growing sales, manufacturers have struck a balance between offering products that are perceived as “authentic” by more hardcore Mexican food fans, while at the same time offering products that are appealing to a large portion of the population who are simply interested in adding a little spice (but not too much) to their plate.
This report takes an in-depth look at what has been driving the Mexican food category in 2010, and provides insights on the following topics that give an indication of what the future may look like for a category that while showing signs of maturing, still has room to grow:
- Which segments are showing vulnerability, and which ones have the potential to serve as catalysts for future growth?
- What kind of impact do Hispanic/Mexican food stores have on traditional retailers’ operation, and what can they do to effectively compete with this specialty format?
- What role does income, gender, race/ethnicity and other demographic factors play in regard to the Mexican food category, and what are manufacturers doing to expand these products’ reach across a wide spectrum of the population?
- What impact have private labels had on the category, and how does that potentially impact the way manufacturers and retailers merchandise the Mexican food category?
- Given the strong appeal of the category to Hispanics, what types of advertising/marketing strategies are manufacturers using to simultaneously reach out to this key group, while still being relevant to non-Hispanic target groups?
- What are the major market drivers and competitive threats to the category, and how effectively are manufacturers and retailers managing them?
- What are the top companies and brands doing to maintain momentum in the face of increasing competition?
- What characteristics are the most important to Mexican food consumers, and are manufacturers doing a good job of developing products that are relevant to these shoppers?
- What can Mexican food companies do to maintain and generate interest among consumers who are interested in a wide variety of international cuisines?
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