Hispanic Millenials and young families are seeking value, shareability, and also better, fresher ingredients and more variety on the menu when they dine out, making these groups not so different from the larger population, according to the latest research from Mintel, which was presented at a MUFSO 2013 session in Dallas, TX this week. However, young Hispanics are more likely to want to engage with their favorite brands on social media sites, and also more likely to seek out more variety in non-alcoholic beverages.

The largest ethnic minority group in the U.S., Hispanics account for nearly 25 percent of all births in the country. Marketers have been keeping an eye on this group for a while now, and the focus has shifted to Hispanic Millenials and young families. The median age of Hispanics is younger than the general population: the median age is 27, compared to 37 for the rest of the population. Nearly 50 percent of Hispanic households include children, compared to 25 percent of non-Hispanic households.

They’re a socially connected group: both online and in real life. The young Hispanic consumer (ages 18 to 34) is 42 percent more likely than the national average to follow their favorite brands on social networking sites. And 67 percent of young Hispanic consumers prefer to spend their leisure time in the company of other people.

“This is a group that wants to be engaged with,” said Eric Giandelone, senior consultant, Mintel Research. “We are seeing this desire to be connected to and get information from their favorite brands.”

While unemployment is high in this group and household incomes are lower now than the national average, higher college enrollment points to affluence in the years to come, according to Mintel’s research.

For now, as with many Americans, budgets are tight for young Hispanics. Convenience and value are motivators for dining away from home, though, especially for young Hispanic families. They’re more likely to dine out than Hispanics without children.

Forty-three percent of young Hispanic families believe in setting entertainment budgets (which often include dining out), which means they’re looking for a great dining experience.

“The onus is on you to provide an atmosphere and an experience that they are likely to enjoy,” Giandelone said.

Feeling that they are welcome at a dining venue is key for Hispanics. For example, Red Lobster’s recent $3 million Spanish-language marketing campaign includes a commercial that makes it obvious that the waitstaff can speak Spanish and that the restaurant is fun and family-friendly, too.

However, value isn't the only consideration. “If you’re going to talk to the Hispanic consumer, you need to get past just the price of a menu item,” Giandelone said.

Much like other young segments of the population, young Hispanics are looking for:

  • Better, less processed ingredients
  • More transparency and readily available nutritional information
  • Healthier fare

Hispanics seek out non-alcoholic beverages more than the general population, so a lot of options there is a good idea to attract that group, Giandelone said.

“If you think about the ingredients you are using—this is a call to action—you should be improving them in every way,” Giandelone said. “This isn’t to appeal just to Hispanic Millenials, but to all Millenials.”