By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | April 3, 2017 

Multicultural consumers make up nearly half of the Millennial generation (42%) and drive 47% of the total US gross domestic product, according to experts. A new Nielsen report, “Multicultural Millennials: The Multiplier Effect” estimates the group influences upward of $1 trillion in total consumer spending. Multicultural Millennials are bridging the gaps between their birth culture, their own children and mainstream society. 

Most of them are fully ambicultural, shifting from what was once a dominant family-based culture to a posture that blends a variety of cultures into a new mainstream, according to Nielsen. The profound influence on their peers as well as on both younger and older generations, deemed the “multiplier effect,” can be harnessed by marketers and advertisers to expand their market share.

“In addition to the influence they command on their more non-Hispanic white peers, there is another reason marketers and advertisers should be interested in multicultural Millennials: many of them are first generation professionals who are in prime acquisition mode,” said Courtney Jones, vice president of multicultural growth and strategy at Nielsen. “A growing disposable income among multicultural Millennials is a ripe opportunity for companies that court them and make an effort to cultivate and earn their business.” 

When exploring the top consumer categories that multicultural Millennials purchase, African-American Millennials spend more than average on ethnic hair and beauty products while Asian-American Millennials spend more on skin care preparations than the average consumer. Unfortunately, these shopping habits haven’t translated at mass.

In the mass market, multicultural beauty sales have stalled. Ethnic, Afro-American products stayed flat at $567.4 million, according to data from Information Resources Inc. (IRI) for total US multi-outlet (supermarkets, drugstores, mass market retailers, military commissaries and select club and dollar retail chains) for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 17, 2017. In this category, ethnic Afro-American shampoos and conditioners also were even at $177.2 million. Ethnic Afro-American styling aids rose 2.3% to $197 million, ethnic Afro-American relaxers/activators fell 9.8% to $73.9 million, ethnic Afro-American hair color was flat at $42.4 million, ethnic Afro-American accessories increased 1.7% to $26.4 million and children’s products slipped 6% to $13.4 million. Ethnic Afro-American skin care decreased 2.9% to $37.1 million. 

In the ethnic Mexican-American category, sales fell 5.2% to $211.1 million, reported IRI. The Hispanic hair sector slipped 2.9% to $43 million, Hispanic skin care rose 2% to $73 million and “other” Hispanic products slipped 11% to $95.1 million.

So, what will bring this consumer out to the stores? “Today, the multicultural market is heavily reliant on the internet shopper for researching the newest beauty products,” Julie Zepeda, chief executive officer of the National Latino Cosmetology Association, Las Vegas, NV, told Happi. “Between family responsibilities and work the highest percentage of shoppers research of beauty products is done on a home computer.” 

According to Zepeda, today’s multicultural beauty consumers are “ incredibly astute shoppers” who “spend an astronomical amount of time researching their favorite products.” 



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