Hispanic Millennials and Healthy Eating

by Jose Tillan, Insight Tr3s

In last week’s post, we saw that adult Hispanic Millennials love traditional Latin foods and are more likely than non-Hispanics to cook with fresh ingredients.  This week, we analyzed habits relating to healthy eating among adult Hispanic and non-Hispanic Millennials.

Overall, Hispanics 18-29 are more likely to report an interest in nutrition and dieting, while higher proportions of non-Hispanics in this age group say they’re working to achieve well-balanced diets and trying to eat healthier foods. Hispanics 25-29 are more likely than 18-24s to focus on nutrition and health, while the 18-24 segment has a slightly higher tendency to diet to lose weight. Foreign-born Hispanics are generally more likely than US-born to report making choices based on health and dieting — but when it comes to purchase behavior they are as likely or more to buy full-fat dairy products, pre-sweetened cereals, and non-diet cola.

The following is our analysis of Simmons data on food choices among adult Hispanic and non-Hispanic Millennials (ages 18-to-29):

  • Hispanics 18-29 are more likely than non-Hispanics to say that nutritional value is the most important factor in what foods they eat (36% Hispanic, 33% non-Hispanic). Among Hispanics, 25-29s are more likely to focus on nutrition than 18-24s (39% 25-29, 34% 18-24). There is a huge disparity between US-born and foreign-born Hispanics – foreign-born are by far most likely to consider nutritional value in their food choices, while US-born match non-Hispanics’ tendency (40% FB, 33% USB).
  • Adult Hispanic Millennials are more likely than their non-Hispanic peers to be trying to lose weight by dieting most of the time (29% Hispanic, 23% non-Hispanic). There is a particularly large difference within the P18-24 demo: 30% of Hispanics in this age group are dieters, compared with 19% of non-Hispanics. Hispanics 25-29 are also slightly less likely than 18-24s to report dieting to lose weight (28%). Foreign-born Hispanic Millennials are also much more likely than US-born to diet (31% FB, 28% USB).
  • Hispanics 25-29 are more likely than those who are 18-24 to say they’re working on eating a well-balanced diet (44% 25-29, 36% 18-24s). US-born adult Hispanic Millennials are also more likely to agree with this statement than foreign-born (41% USB, 38% FB). Overall, Hispanics 18-29 are less likely than non-Hispanics to report working on a balanced diet, however (46% non-Hispanic, 39% Hispanic).
  • Hispanics 25-29 are also more likely than 18-24s to say they’re trying to eat healthier foods these days (52% 25-29, 44% 18-24). Foreign-born Hispanic females 25-29 are particularly high in this area (70%). Overall, non-Hispanic adult Millennials are slightly more likely to agree with this statement (51% non-Hispanic, 47% Hispanic).
  • Though adult Hispanic Millennials – foreign-born in particular — report that they are focusing on nutrition and dieting more, they are at least as likely as non-Hispanics (and often more) to buy full-fat dairy products, sweetened cereals, and non-diet regular cola. Hispanics and non-Hispanics 18-29 have similar propensities for buying whole milk (39% Hispanic, 38% non-Hispanic), with the foreign-born segment higher than US-born (44% foreign-born, 35% US-born). Hispanics are far more likely than non-Hispanics to purchase full-fat yogurt and smoothies (38% Hispanic, 28% non-Hispanic), also driven by foreign-born (47% foreign-born, 31% US-born). For pre-sweetened cold cereals, Hispanics also lead non-Hispanics (83% Hispanic, 80% non-Hispanic), though US-born are more likely to purchase these (84% US-born, 81% foreign-born). Overall, Hispanics are slightly more likely to drink non-diet regular cola (70% Hispanic, 68% non-Hispanic), driven by foreign-born (73% foreign-born, 67% US-born).

Source: Experian Simmons, Winter 2012 NHCS Adult Survey 12-month

Jose Tillan is General Manager for Tr3s: MTV, Música y Más.

For more research and insights from Tr3s, visit http://inside.tr3s.com/blog.php.

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