ATLANTA: With next year's US Census expected to show growth rates among Hispanic Americans far outstripping those of the country as a whole, the race is on to build more robust marketing relationships with the community.

While traditionally, specialist agencies have dominated the Latino marketing sector, recent statistics suggest that second-generation, bilingual and bicultural Hispanics are a fundamental part of contemporary US life and no longer need 'minority' treatment.

Says Cynthia McFarlane, chair of Conill; a Latino agency and part of the Publicis network: "In the 2010 Census, we'll see confirmation of a shift from Hispanic consumers who are first generation, and where Spanish is the dominant language...there is a new American culture forming and these consumers are having a tremendous impact on mainstream America."

Hispanics have around $863 billion (€584 bn; £528 bn) in discretionary annual income, more than any other minority group in the country. This makes them increasingly attractive to marketers, says McFarlane.

"It will be a huge eye-opener to see the growing affluence of the Hispanic market, not just in buying power, but in household wealth," she says.

McDonald's, which sees higher brand loyalty anong Latino customers, recently added breakfast burritos to its menu. Earlier in the year, it used so-called 'Spanglish' in mainstream ads for the Quarter Pounder.

"We know the general market has become increasingly multicultural," says Cristina Vilelle, director of marketing at McDonalds USA.

"We lead with Hispanic insights but make sure they appeal to the general market."   

Data sourced from AdWeek; additional content by WARC staff