Marketing to Hispanic Audiences, Part II – Retail Dietitian Engagement

Marketing to Hispanic Audiences, Part II – Retail Dietitian Engagement

December 20, 2017
Retail Industry Insights

 By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor

How can retail RDNs engage more with the Hispanic community and what is important to this audience in terms of food and nutrition? We continue our look at marketing to Hispanic shoppers and specific considerations for successfully interacting with this population. According to the MSL Group, a global PR and communications firm, an understanding of these key areas will help ensure positive engagement:


  • Regardless of age or first language, Hispanics have a strong emotional and cultural tie to food, both recipes/ ingredients and brands. Use traditional or social media, web articles, blogs, and cooking demos to discuss relevant topics and product features that speak to their cultural sensibilities such as food, traditions, holidays and family.
  • Hispanics head out to the store typically already knowing what they want to buy. Using ads, social marketing and website content will help them prepare shopping lists.
  • Hispanics consumers identify healthy foods as those that are prepared fresh from scratch, and has nothing to do with calorie counts.  Nielsen looked at multicultural shoppers and found they are particularly influential in fresh departments - meat, produce, deli, bakery and seafood.  Communicate the health benefits of these foods and help ensure stores provide high quality produce, specialty meat cuts, traditional bakery treats, and prepared authentic meals.


  • Market to the family not just to mom. According to the MSL Group, 80% of Hispanic shopping trips are conducted with family and friends, 90% ask their family what they want before shopping and 40% buy brands “because their kids asked for it.
  • Familial heritage drives Hispanic Millennial’s preferences and 81% prefer home-cooked meals. Recipes along with ethically sourced products are important to them.
  • Encourage family meals as Hispanics are more likely to eat dinner together.  


  • While many Hispanics speak English, communication in-language and in-culture is key to establishing a relationship and trust. Make sure recipes and websites include Spanish content as 72% of Hispanic Millennials and 80% of Hispanic GenXers speak Spanish in their homes and there has been an increase in Spanish searches for food information.

Looking to increase your Spanish speaking skills? Dietitians Ilene Cohen, MS, RDN, CDE, C-IAYT and Alenka Ravnik-List, MS, RD, CDN, CDE, have created an e-course “Speak Spanish With Your Patients”. For an inside look into their course you can register for a January webinar.


  • Hispanics are the ethnicity group least likely to seek medical attention –U.S. Census. Anchor food and nutrition messages as part of a holistic approach. Don’t lead with a call-to-action based in preventative care. 
  • Keep Hispanics engaged on health and nutrition as Mintel reports 50% admit to being confused by conflicting information about healthy eating.  
  • Some of the barriers for Hispanics for meeting wellness goals are time, money, and difficulty with changing what the family likes to eat.  This is an opportunity for retail RDs to provide time-saving preparation tips and meal solutions.
  • Connect with families by reaching out to local community health programs that serve the Hispanic community and become involved in their programs.