Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the US Culture and Identity Consumer market including the behaviors, preferences, and habits of the consumer.

Nearly seven in ten Americans say that the culture of their heritage has some degree of influence on their life and who they are. While some people feel their cultural heritage plays a more dominant role than other people, there’s consensus that part of being an American is having a diverse heritage and keeping ancestral stories alive.

Given the continuing influence of cultural heritage, plus the dominant role immigration is likely to continue to play in the country’s future, brands and companies must understand how to speak and appeal to the eclectic blend of cultures and lifestyles that make up America’s diverse population.

While food and cultural holidays are the primary ways in which people currently connect with their heritage, there are future opportunities for heritage travel, ancestry services, and cross-cultural experiences. Americans show distinct interest in learning more about their own cultural heritage and/or experiencing cultures different from their own. Brands across categories can help provide these experiences and appeal to this international interest.

Read on to discover more about the US Ancestry and American Identity consumer market, read our US American Values Market Report 2021,  or take a look at our other Culture And Identity Market research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The role of American culture and ancestral culture in consumers’ lives.
  • The specific aspects of lifestyle and personal identity that are influenced by both cultures.
  • The extent to which consumers feel the need to sustain and connect with their heritage and ancestry.
  • The ways in which brands can facilitate connections to cultural heritage and cross-cultural experiences.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Tadka Tarot, Peloton, Airbnb, 23andMe, African Ancestry, 54 Thrones, Ceremonia, Kulfi Beauty, Pinterest, The Knot, Zola, Irish Central.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Lisa Dubina, a leading analyst in the Culture and Identity sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

In a time when the United States has possibly never been more divided, one area where the majority of Americans agree is the role of diverse heritage and ancestry in the American identity. Nearly seven in ten Americans agree that the culture of their heritage has influence on their life, though to varying degrees. Brands must understand how to speak and appeal to the eclectic blend of cultures and lifestyles that make up America’s diverse population, and at the same time understand the role that cultural heritage specifically plays in their target consumers’ personal identity.

Lisa Dubina, Senior Culture and Identity Analyst
Lisa Dubina
Senior Culture and Identity Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • COVID-19: US context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Target Audience Overview
    • Landscape of immigration in the US
      • Figure 1: Percent of US population who are foreign-born and first-generation immigrants, 1900-2018
    • The role and influence of cultural heritage varies across the population
      • Figure 2: Dominant culture, March 2021
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Cultural heritage is both comforting and part of being an American
      • Figure 3: Role of ancestry, March 2021
      • Figure 4: Learning about ancestry, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2021
    • There’s a focus on keeping the oral tradition of ancestry alive, but not necessarily the traditions
      • Figure 5: Stories and traditions, by dominant culture, March 2021
    • Cultural food and holidays are the primary ways in which people currently connect with their heritage
      • Figure 6: Connecting to culture – Select responses, March 2021
    • Brands have the opportunity to help consumers connect with and celebrate their heritage, as well as discover global cultural experiences
      • Figure 7: Learning about new cultures, by dominant culture, March 2021
  3. Target Audience – Key Takeaways

    • For many, cultural heritage remains influential
    • Influence of cultural heritage wanes as lineage in the US increases
  4. Target Audience

    • History and landscape of immigration in the US
      • Figure 8: Percent of US population who are foreign-born and first-generation immigrants, 1900-2018
    • A quarter of Americans feel the culture of their heritage is the dominant culture in their life
      • Figure 9: Dominant culture, March 2021
    • Heritage Dominant Americans skew young, multicultural and urban-dwelling
      • Figure 10: Heritage dominant population indexed to general population, March 2021
    • The Equal Influence segment skews middle-aged, multicultural and less affluent
      • Figure 11: Equal influence population indexed to general population, March 2021
    • The American Dominant population is White, older and affluent
      • Figure 12: American dominant population indexed to general population, March 2021
    • Foreign-born and first-generation Americans are more likely to be Heritage Dominant or Equal Influence individuals
      • Figure 13: Dominant culture, by family residency in US, March 2021
    • The Heritage Dominant and Equal Influence populations are less likely to be financially “healthy”
      • Figure 14: Dominant culture, by current financial status, March 2021
      • Figure 15: Dominant culture, by household makeup, March 2021
      • Figure 16: Dominant culture, by number of sources of income, March 2021
  5. Ancestry in Consumers’ Own Words

    • Ancestry provides Americans with a sense of personal origin and belonging
    • The “Americanizing” of cultural heritage and ancestral traditions seems inevitable
    • Americans express deep gratitude and admiration for their ancestors and the journey they made
  6. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Cultural heritage influences food and beverage, as well as personal attributes
    • Individuality and American identity come before cultural heritage
    • Family ancestry is a comforting narrative that must be sustained
    • Opportunities lie in heritage travel, ancestry services and international experiences
  7. Influence of Heritage on Lifestyle

    • Family heritage has the biggest influence on the food and beverage category
      • Figure 17: Influence on aspects of life, March 2021
    • Among Heritage Dominant individuals, family heritage influences everyday habits, practices and overall lifestyle
      • Figure 18: Influence on aspects of life – Select items, by dominant culture, March 2021
    • For Black consumers, heritage culture is more likely to influence their community, religion, hobbies and personal style
      • Figure 19: Influence on aspects of life – Select responses, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2021
    • For Hispanic adults, ancestral culture is more likely to influence food, language and stores shopped
      • Figure 20: Influence on aspects of life – Select responses, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2021
    • Heritage is most likely to influence personal values, child rearing and spiritual beliefs
      • Figure 21: Influence on personal attributes, March 2021
    • Heritage is more influential on the personal attributes of Equal Influence individuals than the Heritage Dominant segment
      • Figure 22: Influence on personal attributes – Select responses, by dominant culture, March 2021
    • The cultural heritage of Heritage Dominant individuals is more likely to influence their external view of the world
      • Figure 23: Influence on personal attributes – Select responses, by dominant culture, March 2021
  8. Role of Ancestry and Identity

    • American identity and personal experiences supersede family heritage
      • Figure 24: Culture and identity, March 2021
    • For the Heritage Dominant population, individuality and personal experiences take precedent
      • Figure 25: Culture and identity, by dominant culture, March 2021
    • Gen Z adults also focus on their individuality over American culture or cultural heritage
      • Figure 26: Culture and identity, by generation in US, March 2021
  9. Sustaining Cultural Heritage

    • Family heritage is a comforting narrative that is part of being an American
      • Figure 27: Role of ancestry, March 2021
      • Figure 28: Role of ancestry, by dominant culture, March 2021#
    • The emotional attachment to family heritage seems to be diminishing with Gen Z adults
      • Figure 29: Role of ancestry, by generation, March 2021
    • The majority of Americans want to keep their ancestors’ stories alive, but are less devoted to keeping traditions alive
      • Figure 30: Stories and traditions, by dominant culture, March 2021
    • The majority of Americans feel it’s important to learn about other cultures
      • Figure 31: Learning about new cultures, by dominant culture, March 2021
    • Brand Spotlight: Tadka Tarot teaches intuitive-led Indian cooking
      • Figure 32: Tadka Tarot – October, 2020
    • Brands can provide cross-cultural holiday experiences
      • Figure 33: Other cultures’ holidays, by dominant culture, March 2021
  10. Connecting with Ancestry

    • Food dishes and cultural holidays are the main way people connect with their heritage, but there’s interest in heritage trips
      • Figure 34: Connecting to culture – Select responses, March 2021
    • Provide consumers resources to cook cultural recipes and celebrate ethnic holidays
      • Figure 35: Connecting to culture – Select responses, March 2021
    • Brand Spotlight: Peloton embraces exercise during Ramadan
      • Figure 36: Exercising during Ramadan – May 2021
    • Even among the US dominant population, there’s interest in traveling to the country of their ancestors
      • Figure 37: Heritage travel, by dominant culture, March 2021
    • Black Americans are the least likely to have taken a heritage trip, but the most interested in taking one in the future
      • Figure 38: Heritage travel, by ethnicity and Hispanic origins, March 2021
    • Shopping based on heritage is of interest, but not top-of-mind
      • Figure 39: Brands and heritage, March 2021
    • Heritage Dominant people are likely to make purchases to support business owners of similar heritage
      • Figure 40: Supporting business owners, by dominant culture, March 2021
    • Black Americans are most likely to be influenced by culturally targeted advertising
      • Figure 41: Culturally diverse advertising, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2021
    • Few Americans have used an ancestry service to learn more about their heritage
      • Figure 42: Paid ancestry services, March 2021
      • Figure 43: Paid ancestry services, by dominant culture, March 2021
    • Younger Americans are more interested in using an ancestry service
      • Figure 44: Paid ancestry services, by generation, March 2021
    • Learning about their ancestors offers hope, resilience, and makes history more personal
      • Figure 45: Learning about ancestry, by dominant culture, March 2021
      • Figure 46: Learning about ancestry, by ethnicity and Hispanic origin, March 2021
    • Most do not worry about learning something uncomfortable in their family ancestry
      • Figure 47: Concerns of learning ancestry, dominant culture, March 2021
  11. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Appealing to cultural identity and global culture
  12. Mintel’s Trend Drivers

    • Identity
      • Figure 48: Mintel Global Trend Driver – Identity, May 2021
  13. Competitive Strategies

    • Celebrate ancestry and cultural beauty
    • 54 Thrones introduces A-Beauty
    • Haircare rooted in Latinx heritage
    • Kulfi Beauty celebrates South Asian beauty
    • Help consumers reclaim cultural heritage
    • Brands help put an end to plantation weddings
    • Asian Americans reclaim their ‘Asian’ name
    • Indigenous women reclaim ancestral lands
    • Appeal to global culture
    • Citizenship by descent
    • Heritage subscription boxes
    • Lullabies from around the world
  14. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Consumer qualitative research
    • Direct marketing creative
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms

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