The Latino Renaissance
Not since the days of the Spanish Empire—when armada galleons roamed the high seas and conquistadors traversed North America—has Spanish culture had such a pervasive influence on mainstream American culture.
Consider some of the biggest names in entertainment today: former Menudo member Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan, Mark Anthony, Enrique Isglesias … the list goes on. Also, Santana has made a huge comeback, and this year saw the prime time broadcast of the first annual Latin Grammy Awards.
Underlying this fascination with the Latino culture is the size and anticipated growth rate of the U.S. Hispanic community, coupled with a saturated and overexposed mainstream market.
A Fast-Growing Niche
The fastest growing ethnic market in the United States is the Hispanic community, which accounts for 11.4 percent of the current U.S. population and will grow to 13.8 percent of the population come 2010. At 32 million, the U.S. Hispanic population outnumbers the population of Canada by a million people. Tie these growth metrics in with a purchasing power of $383 billion, and you have the makings of a savory market.
The U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census reports 3 million Hispanic households currently earn an income of $50,000 or more—an increase of 26 percent within the past decade. It is important to look beyond household data and calculate this market's purchasing power per capita, as many Hispanic households earn more than two incomes. The average number of persons per Hispanic household is 3.63 as compared to 2.6 in the average Anglo-American household.
If one of every eight U.S. residents is of Hispanic origin, you must be reaching this community with your mainstream marketing campaigns, right? Wrong! Studies show the average U.S. Hispanic household receives 20 direct mail pieces a year, compared to the 300 pieces the average Anglo-American receives.