FMCG firms target US Hispanics

4 September 2013
NEW YORK: An increasing number of multinational consumer goods companies are adapting their sales strategies from Latin America to target the US Hispanic market, according to industry insiders. 

As reported in the Financial Times, companies such as Nestlé, Kimberly-Clark and Clorex are seeking to build on their strengths in Latin America to inform their appeal to US Hispanics, whose purchasing power was worth $1.2tr in 2012.

Lizette Williams, senior brand manager for multicultural strategy at Kimberly-Clark, said the company's position as the market leader in nappies in Mexico had helped it to secure the biggest market share among US Hispanics.

Nestlé adapted its Abuelita hot chocolate and La Lechera condensed milk brands to the needs of acculturated Mexican-Americans, who preferred a quick-stir powder to save time rather than use the traditional product that can take up to 15 minutes to make.

Clorex, meanwhile, introduced its heavily scented Fraganzia household cleaner a year ago after discovering that many Hispanics prefer fragranced products.

The company applied experience gained from its Poett brand in Argentina and its Mistolin cleaners in Venezuela and Puerto Rico to assist the Fraganzia launch.

David Cardona, director of multicultural sales at Clorex, said: "One of the things we're very good at is leveraging our strength in Latin America to inform the things we should be doing here in the US."

However, he cautioned that brands needed to adapt to the US market and should not expect simply to rely on importing unmodified products from Latin America.

US Hispanics currently number 53m, making them the country's largest ethnic minority at 17% of the population, with numbers expected to grow to 31% by 2060.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff
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