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Latino Foodservice Trends in the U.S.


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

  • Executive Summary
    • Scope and Methodology
      • Scope of coverage
    • Methodology
      • Consumer survey methodology
      • Menu item analysis
      • Market size and forecast
      • Hispanic restaurant spend trending
      • Definitions
    • Share of Stomach: Latino Foodservice Market Size and Forecast
      • Insight capsule
    • Latino Foodservice: Macrotrends and Drivers
      • Insight capsule
      • Fast Facts
    • Latinos in Context: Cuisine and Menu Trends
      • Insight Capsule
      • Fast Facts
    • Restaurants, Hispanics & Health
      • Insight Capsule
      • Fast Facts
    • Latinos in Context: Food & Restaurant Spending Trends
      • Insight Capsule
      • Fast Facts
    • Latinos in Context: Restaurant Industry Guest Traffic Trends
      • Insight Capsule
    • Latinos in Context: Casual Restaurant Guest Traffic Trends
      • Insight Capsule
    • Latinos in Context: Family Restaurant Guest Traffic Trends
      • Insight Capsule
    • Latinos in Context: Quick Service Restaurant Guest Traffic Trends
      • Insight Capsule
    • Latinos in Context: Snack & Beverage Concept Guest Traffic Trends
      • Insight Capsule
    • Latinos in Context: Restaurant Brand Analysis
      • Insight Capsule
  • Share of Stomach: Latino Foodservice Market Size and Forecast
    • INTRODUCTION
    • Restaurant sales to consumers
      • Limited service restaurant sales to consumers fare better than full service sales
      • Hispanic share of restaurant sales ticks upward
      • Balancing population growth, unemployment trends and HH income
      • Hispanic momentum in full service restaurants' favor
      • Limited service Hispanic restaurant share plateaus
  • Latino Foodservice: Macrotrends and Drivers
    • Overview
    • Hispanic importance to market will only grow over time
      • Table Hispanic Population, Share of Total Population, by Age, 2005 2025
      • Hispanic HH income and household wealth lags
        • Table Income Analysis, by Race/Gender
      • But share of consumer spending and buying power on the upswing
        • Table Average Annual Expenditures by Hispanic and Non Hispanic Consumer Units, 2005 09
        • Table Aggregate Spending by Hispanic and Non Hispanic Consumer Units, 2005 09
      • And significant gains in buying power projected
        • Table Projected Growth in Hispanic Buying Power, 2010 15
    • Key restaurant demographic drivers: youth and males
      • Youthful Hispanic population important to all restaurant segments
        • Table Population by Selected Age Group, Hispanics vs. Other Population Groups, 2009
      • Population share + restaurant use and usage frequency
        • Table Restaurant Segment Use and Usage Frequency Among Hispanics, by Age, 2011
      • Males the majority
        • Table Population by Gender, Hispanics vs. Other Population Groups, 2009
      • But restaurant usage and usage frequency tilts to Hispanic females
        • Table Restaurant Segment Use and Usage Frequency Among Hispanics, by Gender, 2011
      • Larger, family households with children
      • Latino households much larger than average
        • Table Population by Gender, Hispanics vs. Other Population Groups, 2009
      • Regional variations
      • Language and acculturation
        • Table Percent of Hispanic Population Foreign Born, 2009
        • Table Percent of Hispanic Population Foreign Born, by Age Group, 2009
      • Most Latinos Are English-speakers
        • Table English Language Capabilities of Hispanics 5 Years Old and Over, 2009
      • Influence of English language grows
        • Table English Language Capabilities of Hispanics 5 Years Old and Over, 2000 09
      • Marketing correctly to multicultural consumers
      • Taco Bell's talking Chihuahua
      • The Spanish media angle
      • Olive Garden: Spanish media; mainstream restaurant chain
    • A question of confidence
      • Opportunity: target Hispanics in view of restaurant usage & degree of confidence
        • Table Degree of Consumer Confidence, Correlation to Restaurant Usage by Segment, Hispanics vs. Non Hispanics
    • Know your geography
      • Highly concentrated Hispanic areas influence leading restaurants' Hispanic share
      • Jack in the Box geographic analysis
        • Table Jack in the Box Location & Hispanic Population Analysis
      • Denny's geographic analysis
        • Table Denny's Location & Hispanic Population Analysis
      • But it's not just about location; it's also about cuisine type
      • Domino's delivers to Hispanics
        • Table Domino's Location & Hispanic Population Analysis
  • Latinos in Context: Cuisine and Menu Trends
    • Overview
    • Top ethnic cuisine and flavor trends
      • What's hot?
        • Table Top Ethnic Cuisine and Flavor Trends, 2011
    • Mexican on the menu
      • Top sauces and flavors on Mexican menus
        • Table Top Sauces and Flavors at Mexican Restaurants, Incidence and Penetration, 2011
      • Top Mexican sauces and flavors used across restaurant industry
        • Table Top Mexican Sauces and Flavors, All Restaurant Menus, Incidence and Penetration, 2011
      • Top Mexican entrees vary by segment
        • Table Top Mexican Entrees, Restaurant Penetration, by Segment, 2011
      • Regional variation
        • Table Top Mexican Entrees, Restaurant Penetration, by Region, 2011
      • Top Mexican appetizers
        • Table Top Mexican Appetizers, Restaurant Penetration, by Segment, 2011
      • More than just Mexican
      • Shared in common
      • Mexican menu presence dwarfs those of other Latin American regions
        • Table Latino/Hispanic Cuisine: Restaurant Industry Menu Incidence & Brand Penetration, by Segment, 2011
      • Non Hispanic cuisine chains
      • Pizza chain mixes traditional pizza offerings with Latino-influenced fare
        • Table Domino's Pizza: Latin Influenced Menu Item Introductions, 2010 11
      • Breakfast mainstay spices up menu
        • Table Denny's: Latin Influenced Menu Item Introductions, 2010 11
      • Casual Bar & Grill player innovates with Hispanic-influenced fare
        • Table Chili's: Latin Influenced Menu Item Introductions, 2010 11
      • Burgers with flair
        • Table Sonic: Latin Influenced Menu Item Introductions, 2010 11
      • Studying high concentration areas
      • Diversity on the menu
      • Studying street food
  • Restaurants, Hispanics & Health
    • Making health a priority
      • The argument in dollars and cents
      • Obesity rates among Hispanics trending higher
      • Rates among Hispanic children on the rise
      • Lower incomes
      • Rates among men and women by race and ethnicity differ
      • Hispanic culture and practices significantly influence obesity perceptions
      • Burst and bust short-time financial cycle leads to food sharing
      • Feeding children a symbol of nurturing and achievement
      • Obesity not perceived as negative
    • Study ramifications for restaurant industry
      • Hispanic poverty is widespread
      • Hispanic diet, health & food attitudes: a myth exposed & health contradiction?
      • Healthful eating conundrum
      • Positive breakfast trend; negative ingredient knowledge trend
        • Table Hispanic Diet, Health & Food Attitudes: Percentage Use, Index to Non Hispanics, 2006 11
      • Healthy fast food? Not so fast!
      • Generational differences compounded by usage-frequency differences
        • Table Healthy Fast Food Endorsement: Percentage Use, Hispanic Generation Index to General Population,2011
      • But HH income tells a different story
        • Table Healthy Fast Food Endorsement: Percentage Use, Hispanic HH Income & Gen Y Gender Index to General Population,2011
      • Nutrition
        • Table Food Nutrition Importance: Percentage Use, Hispanic Generation & Gen Y Gender Index to General Population,2011
      • The importance of the kitchen is relative
      • The kitchen is much more important to some than to others
      • Debunking a myth: importance of kitchen does not deter Hispanic restaurant use?
        • Table Kitchen Importance: Percentage Use, Hispanic Generation & Gen Y Gender Index to General Population,2011
  • Latinos in Context: Food & Restaurant Spending Trends
    • Overview
      • Hispanic HH income and household wealth lags
        • Table Income Analysis, by Race/Gender
      • But share of consumer spending and buying power on the upswing
        • Table Average Annual Expenditures by Hispanic and Non Hispanic Consumer Units, 2005 09
        • Table Aggregate Spending by Hispanic and Non Hispanic Consumer Units, 2005 09
        • Table Income Analysis, by Race/Gender
    • Hispanic household spending trends
      • Hispanic food spending trends
      • Gap between narrows between food-away-from-home and food-at-home spending
      • Hispanic restaurant spending trends
      • Full-service restaurant share gains suggest that significant shift is underway
      • Hispanic daypart spending trends
      • Per household versus per person restaurant spending
      • Breakfast spending increases defy recession
      • Lunch
      • Dinner
      • Snack
  • Latinos in Context: Restaurant Industry Guest Traffic Trends
    • Overview
      • A growth driver
      • Population growth saves industry
        • Table Restaurant Usage by Segment: All Consumers, 2007 11
      • Hispanic growth is the key
        • Table Restaurant Usage Among Latino/Hispanics, by Segment, 2007 11
      • Hispanic usage share increases in all major restaurant segments
        • Table Latino/Hispanic Restaurant Usage Share, by Segment, 2007 11
      • Standouts: Family breakfast restaurants
      • Standouts: Pizza establishments
        • Table Indexed Restaurant Usage by Segment & Sub Segment: Hispanic/Latinos & NonHispanic/Latinos, 2011
      • Usage, by demographic
      • Gender trends
        • Table Restaurant Usage by Segment, All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latinos, by Gender, 2011
      • Generation gap
        • Table Restaurant Usage by Segment, All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latinos, by Generation, 2011
      • Income plays significant role
        • Table Restaurant Usage by Segment, All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latinos, by HH Income, 2011
      • Full service restaurant usage trends, by segment
        • Table Full Service Restaurant Usage by Segment: All Consumers, 2007 11
      • Hispanic share
        • Table Full Service Restaurant Usage Among Latino/Hispanics, by Segment, 2007 11
        • Table Latino/Hispanic Full Service Restaurant Usage Share, by Segment, 2007 11
      • Full-service usage frequency
        • Table Full Service Restaurant Visit Frequency in Past Month: Hispanic/Latino Consumers vs. Non Hispanic/Latino Consumers
        • Table Full Service Restaurant Usage, by Daypart: Hispanic/Latino Consumers vs. Non Hispanic/Latino Consumers
      • Spanish speaking Hispanics skew to snacking and breakfast dayparts
      • Limited service restaurant usage, by segment
        • Table Limited Service Restaurant Usage by Segment: All Consumers, 2007 11
        • Table Limited Service Restaurant Usage Among Latino/Hispanics, by Segment, 2007 11
        • Table Latino/Hispanic Limited Service Restaurant Usage Share, by Segment, 2007 11
      • Limited service restaurant usage frequency
        • Table Limited Service Restaurant Usage Frequency: Hispanic/Latino Consumers vs. Non Hispanic/Latino Consumers
        • Table Limited Service Restaurant Usage, by Daypart: Hispanic/Latino Consumers vs. Non Hispanic/Latino Consumers
  • Latinos in Context: Casual Restaurant Guest Traffic Trends
    • Overview
    • Hispanic share of Casual Bar & Grill and Italian higher than Casual Steak
      • Table Casual Restaurant Usage Metrics, by Casual Sub Segment: All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latino Consumers
    • Hispanic usage lags, and demographic trends mirror general population
      • Table Casual Restaurant Usage, All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latinos, by Gender, Generation & HH Income, 2011
    • Casual Bar & Grill brand analysis
      • Table Casual Bar & Grill Restaurant Usage Metrics, by Restaurant Brand: All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latino Consumers
    • Olive Garden advertising paying off?
      • Table Casual Italian Restaurant Usage Metrics, by Restaurant Brand: All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latino Consumers
    • Steak's on!
      • Table Casual Steak Restaurant Usage Metrics, by Restaurant Brand: All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latino Consumers
  • Latinos in Context: Family Restaurant Guest Traffic Trends
    • Overview: Food health attributes that determine choice of a "quick bite"
      • Family restaurants a Hispanic favorite
        • Table Family Restaurant Usage Metrics, by Segment: All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latino Consumers
      • Demographic snapshot
        • Table Full Service & Limited Service Family Restaurant Usage, All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latinos, by Gender, Generation & HH Income, 2011
      • Limited service family restaurant brand analysis
        • Table Limited Service Family Restaurant Usage Metrics, by Restaurant Brand: All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latino Consumers
      • Family breakfast restaurant brand analysis
        • Table Family Breakfast Restaurant Usage Metrics, by Restaurant Brand: All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latino Consumers
      • Family all day restaurant brand analysis
        • Table Family All Day Restaurant Usage Metrics, by Restaurant Brand: All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latino Consumers
  • Latinos in Context: Quick Service Restaurant Guest Traffic Trends
    • Overview
      • Enormous quick service restaurant usage footprint
        • Table Quick Service Restaurant Usage Frequency: All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latino Consumers
      • Quick service restaurant usage, by segment
        • Table Quick Service Restaurant Usage Metrics, by Segment: All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latino Consumers
      • Hispanic Burger usage in line with average
      • 170 million users; 13.2% Hispanic share
        • Table QSR Burger Restaurant Usage Metrics, by Restaurant Brand: All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latino Consumers
      • Pizza, pizza!
      • A Hispanic draw
        • Table QSR Pizza Restaurant Usage Metrics, by Restaurant Brand: All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latino Consumers
      • Mexican QSRs outperform
      • Taco Bell the exception
        • Table QSR Mexican Restaurant Usage Metrics, by Restaurant Brand: All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latino Consumers
  • Latinos in Context: Snack & Beverage Concept Guest Traffic Trends
    • Overview
      • Snack and beverage: a demographic overview
        • Table Snack & Beverage Restaurant Usage, All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latinos, by Gender, Generation & HH Income, 2011
      • Hispanic share lags that of QSR
      • Jamba Juice: usage leader
        • Table Snack and Beverage Restaurant Usage Metrics, by Restaurant Brand: All Consumers vs. Hispanic/Latino Consumers
  • Latinos in Context: Restaurant Brand Analysis
    • Top 25 restaurant brands: tale of the tape
      • Five-year Hispanic growth triple that of population as a whole
      • Hispanic share gains
      • Thanks to largest overall usage footprint, McDonald's draws most Hispanics
      • But eight other brands register explosive usage growth
      • McDonald's versus burger rivals
      • Burger saturation-or are burgers just not hitting the mark?
      • High Hispanic share
      • Low Hispanic share
      • Share gainers
        • Table Top 25 Restaurant Brands: System wide Sales & Hispanic Share of Guest Traffic, 2007 11
      • Top 25 quick take: Hispanic vs. all consumers restaurant brand usage
      • Top 25 quick take: Hispanic vs. all consumers restaurant brand usage likelihood
      • Throwing a wider net: large and mid size chains
        • Table Restaurant Brands with High Hispanic Usage Share: Indexed Use, Revenue and Units, 2011

Hispanic consumers are central to restaurant industry growth: Hispanic share of consumer-driven restaurant sales is on the upswing, with growth of 4.7% in 2011, almost double that of the U.S. consumers generally. Latino Foodservice Trends in the U.S. provides industry participants with valuable insights about the impact Hispanics are having on the restaurant industry:

  • How the prevalence of Hispanic youth, children, and choice of language spoken affect restaurant usage, supported by restaurant usage frequency analysis

  • How Hispanic perceptions about consumer confidence affect their frequency of restaurant use and why marketing messages should be tailored accordingly

  • How geography and featured cuisine affect Hispanic guest traffic volume and growth

  • Analysis of “hot” ethnic cuisine trends; Mexican menu items; Caribbean, Mexican, South American menu item penetration; and brand LTO/new menu items.

  • Challenging commonly held beliefs about Hispanics’ views on the importance of the kitchen and at-home family dining—and why full-service restaurant share gains suggest that a significant shift is underway

  • Understanding the greater conflict on the part of Hispanics than on the part of non-Hispanics regarding healthful eating perceptions.

  • Which restaurant segments and brands (by foodservice sales) are growing Hispanic share

This report covers Latino foodservice trends in the United States. Scope of analysis is limited largely to the full-service, limited-service and snack and beverage segments of the restaurant industry, and includes analysis of 4-year Hispanic restaurant spending trends by restaurant segment; 5-year Hispanic guest traffic analysis by restaurant segment, sub-segment and brand; menu item analysis (primarily Mexican but also Caribbean and South American, as well as limited-time offer and new item analysis). Trends are framed within the context of the general population as well as that of non-Hispanics. A market size and forecast for restaurant sales to Hispanic consumers (with segment analysis) is included.

The report also covers the following topics:

  • Drivers pertinent to the Hispanic share of the restaurant sales, including population and income growth trends; demographic drivers; language and acculturation; Hispanic consumer confidence; and geographic trends and related brand analysis.

  • Hispanic health issues and trends pertinent to the restaurant industry, including obesity trends and related sociological issues; attitudes toward health, diet and food, with a focus on their views on healthy fast food, the nutritional value of food, and the importance of the kitchen to their home.

  • Combined sales and guest traffic trends during 2007-11 among the top 25 restaurant brands by sales, as well as a wider net of top brands according to Hispanic share of use.


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