Change Coming for Latino Grocery Stores
The Latino population in the U.S. has grown rapidly in
recent years and with it has come a corresponding rise in the number of grocery
stores catering to this diverse consumer base, featuring products from their
countries of origin along with signage in Spanish.
In Colorado, The Denver Post reports,
eleven big box Latino grocery stores have opened since 2003. Many other states
across the country have seen Latino grocery stores pop-up to serve growing
populations of Spanish-speaking immigrants.
But, as with previous ethnic groups
that came to the U.S., assimilation is at work and it poses a challenge for
Latino grocery stores.
“The real growth in the Latino population is going to
come from the second generation,” David
Morse, president and chief executive of New American Dimensions and a member
of the RetailWire BrainTrust, told the Post.
“The first generation wants a culturally familiar shopping environment, and
that’s why this [Latino] grocery sector has been so popular,” Mr. Morse said. “But
the second generation can shop anywhere they want, so the comfort of a Hispanic
grocery is no longer an issue.”
Elisa Sandoval of Thornton, Colo. is an example
of assimilation at work. She shops at both mainstream grocers as well as Latino
“This is a comfortable place to shop,” she told the Post while shopping
in a Latino market. “My mom doesn’t speak much English, so this is a good place
for her. For me, it’s not a big thing.”
Discussion Questions: Will Latino grocery stores survive
as their target shopper base becomes more assimilated into American society
and culture? What will Latino grocery stores need to do to succeed as larger
portions of the Latino population are born and raised in the U.S.?