Hispanic Millennials and Healthy Eating

Jose Tillan 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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