Source: Nielsen: The Asian American Consumer Report 2013
PRESERVING TRADITIONS IN THE KITCHEN
Asian Americans hail from cultures where food dominates family and social life. A standard greeting
in some Asian countries is asking a friend whether he or she has eaten yet. Cultural events revolve
around meals, and families show care and concern by making favorite dishes.
About 27% of Asian Americans spend $200 or more a week on groceries, compared to 24% of the
general population.* Although they look for deals, they also prefer buying name-brand food items
over generic. They are also 66% more likely to regularly buy organic food, which tends to be sold at a
higher price point.
The Asian American shopping cart reflects a confluence of their family’s needs and traditions. They
over-index on the ingredients to prepare meals: fresh produce, vegetables, and dry grains. But they
are also big buyers of convenience items: meals starters, prepared foods, and soups. While meals
cooked from scratch are still important, such traditions are facing the pressures of time.
Over the years, the growth and the influence of Asian Americans has meant that Asian food traditions
and flavors have become more mainstream in the supermarkets as well as in the restaurant world.
Asian inspired cuisine such as “Asian-fusion” is making their mark in the gourmet dining world. Such
cultural mixing has crossed over into shopping habits. Ethnic supermarkets are attracting non-Asian
shoppers interested in cooking Asian cuisine, and mainstream supermarkets have recognized the
importance of carrying more Asian products. As such, food and beverage marketers should recognize
and take advantage of the ways in which Asian Americans influence food trends.