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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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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Consumer Expenditure Survey
              • Advertising
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                      • Black Affluents
                        • Black Aspirationals
                        • Executive Summary

                            • The Black consumer
                              • Where Black consumers shop for groceries
                                • What attracts the Black grocery shopper?
                                  • Baking products
                                    • Breads
                                      • Breakfast foods
                                        • Beverages
                                          • Condiments, sauces, seasoning, and oils
                                            • Desserts
                                              • Fruits, vegetables, and salad
                                                • Meats and fish
                                                  • Ready-made and prepared foods
                                                  • Insights and Opportunities

                                                    • New opportunities for supermarkets
                                                      • New influencers will determine how and where Black consumers shop in the future
                                                        • Suburban migration
                                                          • Retailers moving in
                                                            • Re-purposing the urban landscape
                                                              • Figure 1: Number of operating farmers’ markets in the U.S., 2000-10
                                                          • Inspire Insights

                                                              • Trend: Trading up, trading down, trading over
                                                              • The Black Consumer

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Category expenditures
                                                                      • Figure 2: Average annual expenditures—Black CUs, by expenditure category, 2002-10
                                                                      • Figure 3: Average annual expenditures—non-Black CUs, by expenditure category, 2002-10
                                                                    • Distribution of expenditures
                                                                      • Figure 4: Average annual distribution of expenditures, by categories—Black vs non-Black CUs, 2008
                                                                    • Food and beverage expenditures
                                                                      • Figure 5: Average annual expenditures on food and beverages—Black vs non-Black CUs, 2002-10
                                                                      • Figure 6: Average annual expenditures of food and alcoholic beverages—Black vs other races, indexed to all CUs, 2008
                                                                      • Figure 7: Average annual expenditures on food and alcoholic beverages—Black vs non-Black CUs, 2008
                                                                    • Expenditures on food at home
                                                                        • Figure 8: Average annual expenditures on food at home, indexed to all CUs, by race of reference person, 2010*
                                                                      • Average weekly expenditure on groceries high for many low-income Black households
                                                                          • Figure 9: Amount spent on groceries in average week, by race/Hispanic origin and household income, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                        • The Black grocery shopper
                                                                            • Figure 10: Amount spent by Black consumers on groceries in average week, by household income, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                        • Where the Black Consumer Shops for Groceries

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • A lack of access to fresh foods
                                                                              • Expenditure by retail type
                                                                                  • Figure 11: Black consumer expenditure on groceries, by retail type, May 2010
                                                                                • Retail preferences for food and beverages
                                                                                    • Figure 12: Type of retail outlet where Black consumers purchased food and beverages in the past month, by household income, May 2010
                                                                                  • Walmart preferred by those with children in the home
                                                                                      • Figure 13: Type of retail outlet where Black consumers purchased food and beverages in the past month, by presence of children in the household, May 2010
                                                                                    • Regardless of income, Walmart preferred for household items
                                                                                        • Figure 14: Type of retail outlet where Black consumers purchased household goods in the past month, by household income, May 2010
                                                                                      • Childless shoppers less likely to purchase household items at Walmart
                                                                                          • Figure 15: Type of retail outlet where Black consumers purchased household goods in the past month, by presence of children in the household, May 2010
                                                                                      • Changes in Grocery Expenditures

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Grocery pricing trends
                                                                                            • Figure 16: Price changes on selected grocery items, monthly and yearly, 2010
                                                                                          • Changes in grocery expenditures in the Black household
                                                                                            • A third of Black households are spending more on groceries
                                                                                              • Figure 17: Changes in grocery expenditures in the Black household, by household income, November 2009
                                                                                              • Figure 18: Changes in grocery expenditures in the Black household, by category, by household income, May 2010
                                                                                            • Changes in shopping habits post-recession
                                                                                              • $50K+ households less willing to give up purchasing brands
                                                                                                  • Figure 19: Changes in grocery shopping behavior by Black consumers, by household income, May 2010
                                                                                                • Parents are less focused on brands
                                                                                                  • Figure 20: Changes in grocery shopping behavior by Black consumers, by gender and presence of children in the household, May 2010
                                                                                                • Coupon usage
                                                                                                  • Traditional coupon use lower than average among Black shoppers
                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Usage of cents-off coupons, by race/Hispanic origin and household income, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                  • Coupon use and the Black consumer
                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Usage of cents-off coupons by Black consumers, by age, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                    • Figure 23: Usage of cents-off coupons by Black consumers, by household income, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                  • Type of coupons used by Black consumers
                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Type of coupons used, by household income, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                  • Where Black consumers use coupons
                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Where coupons are redeemed, by household income, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                  • Kairos time and how it relates to coupon use among Black shoppers
                                                                                                    • On-shelf coupons are appealing to Black shoppers
                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Awareness and use of on-shelf coupon machines, by race/Hispanic origin and household income, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                    • Digital couponing
                                                                                                    • Baking Products

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Black households use more baking products
                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Purchase of baking products, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                        • Highest and lowest income groups similar in baking product use
                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Purchase of baking products by Black consumers, by household income, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                        • Households with children use more baking products
                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Purchase of baking products by Black consumers, by presence of children in the household, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                      • Breads

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Bread consumption is high in Black households compared with other races
                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Purchase of breads, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                          • Nearly all Black consumers eat bread regardless of age
                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Purchase of breads by Black consumers, by age, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                          • Households with children consume more bread
                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Purchase of breads by Black consumers, by presence of children in the household, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                        • Breakfast Foods

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Black households purchase more breakfast foods compared with other races
                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Purchase of breakfast foods, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                            • Cereal consumption is significant among Black households of all income levels
                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Purchase of breakfast foods by Black consumers, by household income, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                            • Households with children are more likely to consume toaster pastries
                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Purchase of breakfast foods by Black consumers, by presence of children in the household, April 2010
                                                                                                          • Non-alcoholic Beverages

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • A national backlash against sugary soft drinks
                                                                                                                • Creating healthier soft drinks
                                                                                                                  • More Black households consume sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages
                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Purchase of beverages, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                                  • Coffee and tea consumption higher among Black women aged 55+
                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Purchase beverages by Black consumers, by age and gender, April 2010
                                                                                                                  • Soft drink consumption increases when children are in the home
                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Purchase of beverages by Black consumers, by presence of children in the household, April 2010
                                                                                                                  • Northeasterners are more likely to consume ice tea
                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Purchase of beverages by Black consumers, by region, April 2010
                                                                                                                • Condiments, Sauces, Seasoning, and Oils

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Cultural roots
                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Purchase of condiments, sauces, seasonings, and oils, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                                    • Household income impacts edible fats and oils purchases
                                                                                                                      • Figure 41: Purchase of condiments, sauces, seasonings, and oils by Black consumers, by household income, April 2010
                                                                                                                    • Regional influences on condiment purchases
                                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Purchase of condiments, sauces, seasonings, and oils by Black consumers, by region, April 2010
                                                                                                                  • Dairy Products

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Lactose intolerance among African Americans impacts dairy purchases
                                                                                                                        • Asians and African Americans consume less dairy
                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Purchase of dairy products, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                                        • Black women eat more yogurt compared to Black men
                                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Purchase of dairy products by Black consumers, by gender, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                                        • Black households with children consume more cheese
                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Purchase of dairy products by Black consumers, by presence of children in the household, April 2010
                                                                                                                      • Desserts

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Desserts are a significant part of Black soul food culture
                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Purchase of desserts, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                                          • Black women consume more desserts than Black men
                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Purchase of desserts by Black consumers, by gender, April 2010
                                                                                                                          • Black households with children consume more dessert items
                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Purchase of desserts by Black consumers, by presence of children in the household, April 2010
                                                                                                                        • Fruits, Vegetables, and Salad

                                                                                                                          • Key point
                                                                                                                            • Black households consume less fresh, more frozen or processed fruits and vegetables
                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Purchase of fruits, vegetables, and salad, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                                            • Black Boomers and Gen-Xers consume more vegetables
                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Purchase of fruits, vegetables, and salad by Black consumers, by age, April 2010
                                                                                                                            • Lower-income households are significantly less likely to consume fresh produce
                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Purchase of fruits, vegetables, and salad by Black consumers, by household income, April 2010
                                                                                                                          • Packaged Meats and Fish

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Meat and seafood consumption is high among Black consumers
                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Purchase of meats and fish, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                                              • Household income impacts packaged meat and seafood purchases
                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Purchase of meats and fish by Black consumers, by household income, April 2010
                                                                                                                              • Packaged fish purchases similar for childless households and households with children
                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Purchase of meats and fish by Black consumers, by presence of children in the household, April 2010
                                                                                                                            • Ready-made and Prepared Foods

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Homemade does not necessarily mean “from scratch”
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Purchase of ready-made and prepared foods, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                                                • Household income has little impact on consumption of some ready-made and prepared foods
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Purchase of ready-made and prepared foods by Black consumers, by household income, April 2010
                                                                                                                                • Black households with children consume more frozen pizza and pizza products
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Purchase of ready-made and prepared foods by Black consumers, by presence of children in the household, April 2010
                                                                                                                              • Snacks, Cakes, and Pies

                                                                                                                                • Key point
                                                                                                                                  • The not so sweet story
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Purchase of snacks, cakes, and pies, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2009-March 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Salty snack consumption typically declines with age in some categories
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Purchase of snacks, cakes, and pies by Black consumers, by age, April 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Consumption of snacks, cakes and pies is higher in households with children
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Purchase of snacks, cakes, and pies by Black consumers, by presence of children in the household, April 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Ads targeting the Black consumer
                                                                                                                                        • Television
                                                                                                                                          • Kraft
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese/Cheddar Explosion, TV ad, June 2010
                                                                                                                                          • Walmart
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Walmart, Mr. Rollback—Darrel, TV ad, May 2010
                                                                                                                                          • Pepsi
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Pepsi, Refresh Project, TV ad, July 2010
                                                                                                                                          • Eggo Waffles
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Eggo Nutri-Grain waffles, Louise, TV ad, July 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Doritos
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Doritos, Keep your hands off my Doritos, TV ad, February 2010
                                                                                                                                          • Online
                                                                                                                                          • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                              • Frugalistas
                                                                                                                                                • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                  • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                      • Expanders
                                                                                                                                                        • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                          • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                            • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                              • Levelers
                                                                                                                                                                • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                  • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 66: Black grocery cart clusters, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 67: Changes in grocery expenditures, by category, by Black grocery cart clusters, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 68: Changes in household expenditures, by category, by Black grocery cart clusters, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 69: Changes in household expenditures, by category, by Black grocery cart clusters, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 70: Changes in household expenditures, by category, by Black grocery cart clusters, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 71: Changes in grocery expenditures, by Black grocery cart clusters, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 72: Black grocery cart clusters, by gender, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 73: Black grocery cart clusters, by age, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 74: Black grocery cart clusters, by household income, May 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                      • U.S. Black Population

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. population by race/Hispanic origin
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: U.S. population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2005-15
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 76: Population, by race/Hispanic origin, 1970-2020
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 77: Asian, Black, and Hispanic populations, 1970-2020
                                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Black population
                                                                                                                                                                            • Black population by age
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 78: U.S. Black population, by age, 2005-15
                                                                                                                                                                            • U.S. Black geographic concentration
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 79: Black geographic concentration, by region, 2007
                                                                                                                                                                            • Black population by state
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 80: States with largest Black population, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 81: States with the highest share of Black residents, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                            • Black metros
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 82: Metropolitan status of Black households, 2001 and 2007
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 83: Top 10 metropolitan areas with the largest number of Black residents, 2006-08
                                                                                                                                                                            • Black purchasing power
                                                                                                                                                                              • Black income
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 84: Household income distribution for all households and Black households, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                              • Income of Black households versus total U.S. households
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 85: Share of Black households with incomes of $50K or more versus total U.S. households, 2002 and 2008
                                                                                                                                                                              • Purchasing power by race/Hispanic origin
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 86: Purchasing power, by race/Hispanic origin, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 87: Top 10 states with the largest share of Black buying power, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 88: Top 10 states, by rate of growth of Black buying power, 1990-2008
                                                                                                                                                                              • Black households
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 89: Average household size, by race/Hispanic origin/race of householder, 2001 and 2008
                                                                                                                                                                              • Country of origin/heritage
                                                                                                                                                                                • African immigrants
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 90: U.S. immigrants, baccalaureate and advanced degrees, by continent/region of origin, 2000
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Caribbean immigrants
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Top five countries of origin
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Geographic location
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Neighborhood characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 91: Average annual expenditures—Black vs. other race households, by expenditure category, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 92: Average annual expenditures, indexed to all CUs—Black vs other races, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 93: Average annual expenditures on food at home, by race of reference person, 2010*
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Aldi (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Coca-Cola Company (The) (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Food Marketing Institute
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Kmart Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Kraft Foods Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                          • PepsiCo Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA)
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Supervalu Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Trader Joe's Company Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Department of Agriculture
                                                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Walgreen Co

                                                                                                                                                                                          The Grocery Cart of the Black Consumer - US - September 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                          £3,199.84 (Excl.Tax)