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'Superconsumers' Of Color Buy More Of Everything

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Fascinating study on how Millennials aren't who you think they are. Forget about that weedy white boy in a hoodie, and think about how you're gonna market your wares to a Latina who loves Instagram and lives in a multi-generational family.

You're right, this is fascinating. No wonder Facebook is winning!

The consumer research company calls them "multicultural superconsumers" — "multicultural" meaning people of color, and "superconsumers" because they make up the 10 percent of households who drive at least 30 percent of sales, 40 percent of growth and 50 percent of profits in a given consumer product category. People of color were the biggest buyers in 40 percent of the 126 different kinds of products that Nielsen looked at.

40% of growth and 50% of profit. The numbers tell it all.

Interestingly, the Nielsen research suggests that the superconsumers are also influencing how white people spend money. 

When white millennials live in neighborhoods where a lot of people of color also live, they end up spending more money on stuff that people of color like. (For example, they were much more likely to be big consumers of things like Asian noodles and, again, hot sauce than older whites.) This is surprising, given that three out of four white folks have no non-white friends, according to Public Religion Research Institute. It might be that white millennials hang out with people of color more than their parents do. Or maybe the power of the brown superconsumer is so considerable that it can offset that lack of interracial contact.

Tran points out that young folks today are growing up with pop culture that looks really different than what their parents got. "When they turn on a tv, there are celebrities of color," she said. And that diversity, she said, is "very much of American society, whether you have diverse social circles or not."

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