Optimistic and Resilient, Multicultural Consumers Power the Pandemic Economy and Beyond: Their Behaviors, Attitudes, and Outlooks


Today’s U.S. consumers are more diverse than ever which is a reflection of demographic trends over the past two decades. As consumers embrace the new normal and the pandemic is in hindsight (almost), the post pandemic world ushers in a new era for marketers and advertisers in which sensitivity to social issues and causes is just as important as keeping the pulse on consumer trends. 

This white paper is a glimpse into a comprehensive survey, co-sponsored by Sparkle Insights and The Filipino Channel and conducted by Sparkle Insights, to understand what makes American multicultural consumers tick in the “new normal”.

Grocery Shopping Venues and Online Shopping Habits
  • Approximately 1/3 of Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians reported shopping for groceries at mass merchandisers more often than pre-pandemic.
  • Ethnic grocery stores are the third-most important grocery shopping venue for Asians behind mass merchant and chain grocery stores, with half of the population choosing to shop there.
  • More than 1/3 of Hispanics and African Americans frequent pharmacy stores, reportedly higher than Asians and Caucasians.
  • Racial disparity in health and economic equity brought by COVID has led to Hispanics and African Americans shopping more at dollar stores and convenience stores.
  • Hispanics and African Americans are more likely to shop for groceries online. Asians are more likely to shop online for personal care items.
Personal Finance
  • Approximately 50% of Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians plan to buy or sell investments in the next 12 months. More than 1/3 plan to buy or sell cryptocurrency.
  • More than 40% of Hispanics and African Americans plan to buy more life insurance and medical insurance in 2022.
ESG Outlook
  • 70% of African Americans are particularly vocal about supporting companies and brands that advocate for diversity.
  • Approximately half or more of the general population will support companies that are more socially responsible and pay more for healthier, organic, or green products.
Media Consumption
  • The top 3 video streaming platforms consumed among all racial segments are Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.
  • Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians have a significantly higher viewership of fashion/beauty shows than the general population.
  • Significantly more Hispanics use TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitch daily than the general population, perhaps due to a younger demographic.
  • Asians overall use 40-50% of in-language media across the board, with in-language usage being the highest for online radio, traditional print press, and social media.
  • More than half of African Americans and Hispanics are especially vocal about ethnic media understanding their needs better and supporting brands and products being advertised in ethnic media.

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Asian Americans: The Force Behind The Automotive Industry’s Pandemic Growth And Forward

Source: Asian American’s Advertising Federation’s Asian Marketing Summit—The Future of Advertising to Asian Americans, May 2022

  • Thriving and Loyal: Asian Automobile Buyers by Marc Bland, Chief Diversity Officer @ IHS Markit/S&P Global
  • Remarks by General Motor by Charles Chapman, Multicultural Marketing Manager @ General Motors
  • Why Authenticity Matters: Toyota’s Approach to Asian Consumers by Lindsay Lee, Senior Manager for Vehicle Marketing Communications Group @ Toyota


Why It Matters

Asian Americans are the fastest-growing consumer segment, and they are also brand-loyal when it comes to spending on new cars. The average MSRP for Asian new registrations in the first nine months of 2021 was $37,934, compared to $33,710 for African Americans, and $33,677 for Hispanics. Despite setbacks from the pandemic, the Asian American demographic is a critical part of the diverse automotive landscape.


General Insights

Asian American is leading the way as the automotive industry transitions to the EV era. Asian consumers account for 26.7% of Los Angeles’s EV volume (#1 EV market) and 40.3% of San Francisco’s EV volume (#2 EV market).

1. There is still time and opportunity to grab this market segment for all automotive brands if media and advertising are done right. Asian Americans on average have the highest income among other segments and the general market. As their population and buying power increases, brands who wish to target this lucrative segment must learn and respect the cultural nuances as well as their preferences so that the brand messaging can be authentically and effectively communicated to them.

2. Collaborating with Asian agencies who know this segment well is crucial. Asian Americans is a diverse segment of communities, so when formulating media strategies, language and cultural relevance must be taken into consideration. Understanding media consumption of Asians for effective media buying and influencer partnerships are important as well. For example, targeting US-borns with in-cultural media may be more effective than in-language media. Leveraging popular culture such as Japanese manga and animation in advertisement proved highly successful among Toyota’s Asian Gen Z customers.

3. Heavily targeting Asians will eventually increase brand equity. Asians tend to be more educated. They are early adopters of technology, and many care about sustainability. Therefore, they are more willing to give different brands a try, particularly their fully electric or hybrid models.

4. Listen to their needs. Asians are just as vocal as other segments. For brands who have a significant Asian share, reach out to them and do not ignore their voices.

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