The Grocery Cart of the Black Consumer - US - September 2010
The connection between food, tradition, family and history is a deep one for many African Americans. Dishes that make up the Black diet today have been prepared and eaten in much the same way through several generations in the U.S. Although some recipes and preparation have remained the same, the lifestyles of Blacks in America changed from a primarily Southern rural existence to an urban lifestyle.
In the 70s, on the heels of urban violence and property damage, grocers and other business fled from the inner-city into the surrounding suburbs. They followed the urban flight of many former city residents, leaving only the poorest citizens in the city. Grocery stores and markets were gradually replaced by corner stores and convenience stores, which specialized in sales of cigarettes, liquor, snack foods, beverages and offered a limited assortment of shelf-stable groceries. Shopping options are still limited to only these outlets for many urban dwellers, who are less likely to own or have access to a car. Among those who can occasionally shop at an outlying grocery store, it becomes essential to “stock up” on foods that are less perishable including convenience foods like frozen entrees or meals, rather than on fresh food items.
This report will examine how cultural and geographic factors impact food and beverage purchases and discuss alternatives to the current lack of supermarkets in urban and rural areas. Mintel looked at the following issues:
- On which grocery items do African Americans spend the greatest portion of their grocery dollar?
- What are the differences between how African Americans shop for groceries and prepare meals versus other races? What lessons can be learned?
- How effective is cents-off couponing among Black consumers? And what are the best ways to deliver coupons to this audience?
- What measures are Black consumers taking today to stretch their grocery dollars in this challenging economy?
- How does household income, age and the presence of children change the grocery purchases of the Black consumer?
- How does geography impact Black grocery-purchasing behavior today? What are some of the solutions?
- What impact will the increasing number of farmer’s markets and urban gardens have on traditional grocery stores moving into neighborhoods?
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