Hispanics Forego Frequent Shopper Programs

Aug 21, 2002

Hispanic households in Los Angeles are much less likely to belong to a grocery store frequent shopper program than non-Hispanics, according to new research from ACNielsen. The research results were presented during the ACNielsen Category Masters client conference attended by executives from more than 500 consumer packaged goods companies.

The findings come from ACNielsen’s exclusive 1,500-household Homescan LA Hispanic Panel. The panel is representative of the Los Angeles market where the largest segment of the city’s population (55 percent) consists of less acculturated households, where Spanish is the only or preferred language. Bilingual households represent 33 percent of the Hispanic population; 12 percent are more acculturated, for whom English is the language of choice.

The differences in frequent shopper program participation rates are especially pronounced among less acculturated Hispanic households. Only 52 percent of such households belong to a frequent shopper program, compared to 90 percent of non-Hispanic households. Among more acculturated Hispanic households, 75 percent belong to a grocery store frequent shopper program.

Among other findings:

  • Thirty-seven percent of Hispanic households that belong to a frequent shopper
    program, less acculturated households are more likely to belong to just one
    program (vs. 15 percent for more acculturated households);

  • Seventy-seven percent of less acculturated Hispanics are more likely to
    describe the frequent shopper program they belong to as “valuable” or “very
    valuable” (vs. 66 percent for more acculturated Hispanics and 70 percent for

  • The number one reason for not belonging to a frequent shopper program across
    all respondents was simply that the store where they shop does not offer one.

Moderator Comment: Do the ACNielsen findings suggest that retailers in largely Hispanic areas should forego loyalty card programs?

We wonder if consumers of Cuban descent in Florida and
Puerto Rican in New York use loyalty cards more or less than the largely Mexican
population in California.

We found the correlation between the use of language
(English or Spanish) and loyalty cards to be interesting. As with all previous
immigrant populations, Hispanics are being assimilated into the mainstream.
That should eventually translate into these consumers making greater use of
loyalty cards. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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