Procter & Gamble targets Hispanic shoppers

04 August 2010

CINCINNATI: Procter & Gamble, the FMCG giant, is seeking to roll out more products targeted specifically at Hispanic consumers, in recognition of the growing importance of this audience.

The company is in the process of introducing a dishwashing extension to its laundry detergent and fabric softener brand Gain, with Lapiz Hispanic Marketing acting as lead agency on the brief.

Official figures suggest Hispanic households delivered over half of the population expansion recorded in the US last year, and now contribute 16% of the country's residents, or 48.4 million people.

"That is the changing face of the consumer, and we need to reach those consumers. We think there's a huge upside to that market," said Kirk Perry, Procter & Gamble vice president for North America.

According to Dan Jackson, who heads P&G's activity in the dishwashing category, the aim is to attract a valuable group of customers that typically do not buy its leading line in this sector, Dawn.

Price is one factor in this equation, with the latest addition to Gain's portfolio costing around $2 per 30-ounce bottle, almost $1 less than the corresponding offering from Dawn.

Communications also adopt a distinctive tone, steering clear of effectiveness claims in favour of promoting "fantastic scents that no one may resist".

"It's the first new dish brand in 37 years, so it's not a decision that was made lightly," said Jackson.

Elsewhere, P&G will attempt to employ a similar approach by combining the smell of Gain's "apple mango tango" to Febreze air freshener, in an effort to engage Hispanic shoppers.

Mintel has found that this segment has been of the key drivers helping Gain generate annual sales of over $1bn.

The research firm argued the fragrances used in this range, which offers variants such as "Island Fresh", are particularly appealing to this group, meaning it makes sense for P&G to build on this momentum.

"Basically, what it boils down to is demographics," Leylha Ahuile, senior multicultural analyst at Mintel, said.

"More households with greater numbers of people; they're just going to consume more. You have to go where there's more people."

Colgate-Palmolive is another manufacturer that has tapped in to the same trend, selling goods like Caprice shampoo and Fabuloso cleaner, which are popular in Latin America, in selected regions of the US.

Unilever's Suave shampoo and Knorr food options primarily for Hispanic shoppers has also enjoyed widespread take-up.

"I think it's part of a growing reality," Rochelle Newman-Carrasco, chief Hispanic strategist for Walton Isaacson, the agency, said. "For more brands, Hispanics are the general market."

Data sourced from Associated Press; additional content by Warc staff