Inside Target’s push to target Latino consumers

The retailer worked with Latino businesses to add foods such as gluten-free empanadas and grain-free Mexican wedding cookies to its grocery offerings for Latino Heritage Month.
Target Latino Heritage Month
Gluten-free empanadas are one of Target's Latino Heritage Month offerings. / Photo courtesy Target

Through the middle of next month, Target is celebrating Latino Heritage Month with a cross-category collection of more than 90 products that includes an assortment of empanadas, tortillas, cookies and more, all designed to target one of the country’s fastest-growing demographics.

Enticing Latino shoppers is big business.

“We know Latino consumers are a key driving force of the U.S. economy, growing significantly faster than the U.S. GDP as a whole,” Jasmine Vazquez, Target’s VP of brand marketing, told WGB via email. “Target knows that the Latino consumer is projected to make up more than 86% of population growth over the next 30 years. The buying power of the Latino community is $1.5 trillion, and 58% of Latino households are comprised of families.

It's the second year that the Minneapolis-based retailer is observing Latino Heritage Month with a curated offering of products, 99% of which are made by Latino creators and businesses, the company said.

Target’s food offerings for the month, some of which are available year-round, include an assortment of chips, cookies, seasonings and other items from Siete; Café Bustelo coffees, Cacique chorizo, El Monterey frozen entrees, and Goya brand beans.

“Target has had a dedicated Latino strategy for more than six years, with a focus on Hispanic and Latino team members, guests and communities,” Vazquez said. “We want our Latino guests to choose Target with confidence because we are consistently demonstrating the value of our relevant product assortment, uplifting their communities and showing up for moments that matter most.”

Target's efforts are more than just marketing puffery.

For Hispanic and Latino consumers, heritage identity heavily influences their buying behavior, according to research released this month from Chicago-based data and tech firm Numerator.

Fifty-eight percent of Hispanic and Latino households said heritage was central to their identity, the largest percentage of any ethnic group, and those consumers said nostalgia and familiarity factor into their shopping and purchasing decisions, Numerator found.

Dietary restrictions are common in Hispanic/Latino households, the firm found, with the group 75% more likely to be vegan, 63% more likely to be lactose-free, 45% more likely to be vegetarian and 22% more likely to be gluten-free than the total U.S. population.

Hispanic and Latino shoppers over-index in several grocery categories, including nectars, lentils, canned and powdered milks, coconut water and in-store bakery, Numerator reported.

Nearly half (49%) of all Hispanic and Latino households consist of four or more members, the firm said, and the age range of those members skew the youngest of any other ethnicity.

Eighty percent of Hispanic and Latino homes are multilingual and more than a quarter of those surveyed said they trust brands that use the language they speak at home more than brands that do not, Numerator found.

Some of Target’s Latino Heritage Month items will only be available through Oct. 15. But the retailer carries products from more than 60 Latino-owned and founded brands every day, Vazquez said.

“Guests can shop using our ‘Latino-owned’ badges online to make it easier to find and support the brands they love at Target,” she added.

For the last three years, Target has run an ongoing Spanish-language marketing campaign, “Mas Que” or “More Than,” which can be centered around different themes.

The retailer promotes the products through online storytelling and in-store marketing. This year, Target partnered with Latin-American media company Remezcla to create a content studio to launch Mas Labs, focused on building marketing pieces around some of Target’s Latino-owned and founded brands.

“This year, ‘Mas Que’ evolved to focus on the Latino community’s everyday needs through our assortment, showcasing what it means and how it feels to fulfill each individual and the community’s boundless potential and progress,” Vazquez said.




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