ISSUE NO. 69 10/24/12

Food is intimately connected to a mother's nurturing of her family and this is particularly true for Latinas, according to Univision Insights Blog. Hispanic mothers, whether they are immigrants or U.S. born, straddle two cultures. They are concerned with embracing new American traditions while also holding on to the values and traditions of their heritage. One way that they keep their culture alive is through their cooking and their recipes. They learn how to cook from their mothers and become passionate about it at an early age. This passion is evident in a Yankelovich Banktract report from 2010 in which 81% of Hispanics agreed that they "put a lot of care and emotion into my cooking" while only 65% of non-Hispanics said the same.

As Latina mothers reach for their piece of the American pie, they are working more and cooking from scratch less. The result is a new opportunity for convenience foods among Hispanic moms who are starting to use frozen vegetables, canned food and microwavable side dishes more often. According to a recent syndicated Simmons survey, the number of Latinas that answered "yes" to the statement "easy to prepare foods are my favorite" grew 16 percent since 2006 vs. no growth for non-Hispanic women. Latina women also showed significantly more growth than non-Latinas across convenience products including hot snacks and frozen pizza, vegetables and waffles/pancakes over the same time period.
Along with an increasing openness to convenience solutions, Latinas are also becoming more health-conscious: 31% of Hispanic mothers say they are food influencers and are "usually the first to try new health foods," versus only 16% of non-Hispanic mothers.

Marketers who take the time to understand the importance of food to the Latina mother will gain the advantage when trying to appeal to them. Understand that food is more than nourishment of the body; it is nourishment of the family. Take the time to get to know the Hispanic mother and be sure to honor the importance of the food she cooks in nurturing and nourishing her family. Finally, consider how convenience needs are linked to her struggle to provide healthy foods that also honor the recipes of her childhood.

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"Latina Moms Balance Taste, Health & Convenience," Latino Briefs Digest, 3/26/12

cooking, Hispanic women

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