Commentary

It's Dangerous To Ignore The Impact Of Hispanic Millennials

The “millennial experts” of today have replaced the “social media experts” of the previous decade. This new cottage industry is driven by demand from large organizations and brands that are still trying to figure out how to make the millennial market work for them.

Search SlideShare and you will find over 15,000 presentations tagged with “millennials.” One thing they almost all have in common is the “Diversity Slide.” It is usually just that — a single slide providing some topline demographic data on millennials. It states that millennials are one of the most diverse generational cohorts in history. Then the presentation moves on, never to discuss multicultural millennials again.

They essentially are ignoring 40% of millennials in their analysis and prescriptions. These millennials are the future of our economy. These “experts” and the organizations they counsel fail to consider the huge impact multicultural millennials, particularly Hispanic millennials, will have on popular culture, buying trends and future marketing more broadly.

When we look at multicultural millennials more closely, Hispanic millennials provide an interesting snapshot into two big parts of our future economy: “Fusion” Mega-Markets and New Emerging Hispanic Markets. 

“Fusion” Mega-Markets like Los Angeles, Houston and Miami are markets with over 1 million Hispanics that make up an average 40% of the population. In many of these “Fusion” Mega-Markets, Hispanic millennials represent the majority of the millennial population. These established and heavily multicultural and Hispanic markets are seeing slower Hispanic population growth driven mostly by U.S.-born Hispanic millennials and a new fusion culture taking hold. Based on our data, these U.S.-born Hispanic millennials are going to have an out-sized influence on mainstream popular culture in a number of ways:

  • Their equal consumption of Spanish and English media will continue to push the “crossover” of Spanish language.
  • Their tendency to not trust prescription meds will accelerate the trend towards alternative and holistic medicine.
  • Their strong desire to stand out as Latinos will mean less acculturation and more retro-acculturation as ethnicity and culture will remain key aspects of their lives.

Emerging Hispanic Markets, on the other hand, are the new Hispanic immigrant gateways in the Southeast and Midwest, places like Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin and Nebraska. These markets are seeing double-digit Hispanic population growth, driven by foreign-born Hispanic millennials who are expected to increase by 20-35% in the next five years in these markets. The attitudes and beliefs of foreign-born Hispanic millennials today provide a glimpse of future Hispanic market buying trends in this new Hispanic market such as:

  • Hispanics will be one of the last bastions of the 4+-member household, driving future home ownership and corresponding food, beverage, toy and CPG spending.
  • Hispanics will buck trends and continue to view significant value investing in higher education.
  • Their preference for Spanish media will continue to fuel growth in Spanish language media.
  • Their aspirations to own businesses will drive new business starts and be a key growth segment for small-business providers.
  • Their openness to non-traditional forms of banking will spur growth in alternative financial services and providers

By ignoring Hispanic millennials, most experts are missing the clear signals about the out-sized influence they will have on our country’s future.

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