Upscale Hispanics: Young, Entrepreneurial and Online…


The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) and Nielsen just released an insightful study, “America’s New Upscale Segment: Latinos!”  The research paints a compelling picture of the upscale Hispanic market and helps dispel Hispanic stereotypes.  For this post I thought it would be helpful to summarize the characteristics of the upscale Hispanic market and suggest that marketers use digital to engage with this segment.

Upscale Hispanics Have A Lot Of Spending Power

15 million Hispanics are considered upscale, that is they earn more than $50,000 annually, which is roughly the median household income in the United States.   The group represents 29% of the Hispanic population but controls 37% of U.S. Hispanic buying power of $500 million.  What’s more, the study projects that by 2050, there will be 35 million upscale Hispanic in the United States.

For marketers, upscale Hispanics represent an interesting opportunity for several reasons:

  • They are young.  A full 75% of upscale Hispanics are under the age of 45 compared to only 59% of upscale non-Hispanics.
  • They have large households. 77% of upscale Hispanics have households or four people more vs. 45% of upscale non-Hispanics.
  • They are geo-graphically concentrated in the South Western and Western regions of the country.
  • They own lots of businesses. This group is extremely entrepreneurial with upscale Hispanics owning 500,000 small businesses.
  • They have high graduation rates. More education has translated into an influx of Hispanics into the white-collar work force.

Upscale Hispanics Spend More on Personal Care Products

Marketers take note: Upscale Hispanics represent a strong and growing consumer segment.  In the majority of categories, upscale Hispanics spend as much as their non-Hispanic counterparts but spend much more on personal care products.

They spend more per trip and shop more frequently for personal care items ranging from men’s grooming, women’s fragrances, hair care and cosmetics and tend to prefer premium brands vs. store brands.

Upscale Hispanics also speak Spanish.  A full 75% of this segment speaks at least some Spanish and Spanish dominant upscale Hispanics have grown 18% in the past two years.  What’s more, upscale Hispanics spend 52% of their television broadcast time viewing Spanish language programing.

Upscale Hispanics Love Technology

So how do you reach upscale Hispanics?

Although the study did not touch on the digital behavior of upscale Hispanics, plenty of other studies suggest that this segment is extremely digitally engaged, over-indexing the general market when it comes to social media and mobile penetration.  The fact that upscale Hispanic’s love technology coupled with the inherent advantages of digital including cost efficiency, measurability and quick time to market make digital the ideal medium for reaching upscale Hispanics.

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