Multiculturalism and the Rise of the “Super Consumer”

By EthniFacts, Special for  USDR

A preview of the new Nielsen report, The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers, was presented this week at SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas by EthniFacts’ Guy Garcia, who moderated the panel “Latino Tech-Culture Powers Up,” featuring Nielsen’s Monica Gil, AT&T’s Christina Gamboa and Maria Hinojosa from NPR’s “Latino USA” and “America By The Numbers” on  PBS.

The Nielsen report identifies multicultural consumers as the most dynamic and fastest growing segment of the U.S. consumer economy and shines a light on their role as Super Consumers, which refers to the top 10% of households who drive at least 30% of sales, 40% of growth and 50% of profits of any consumer product category.  Once viewed as laggards in a widening “digital divide,” multicultural consumers today are leaders in technology adoption, and these heavy consumers over-index against non-multiculturals on smartphone usage (82% vs. 70%), mobile app duration (index of 130) and number of apps used (index of 142).  Individual social media apps were tracked for the report and these multicultural heavy consumers over-indexed non-multiculturals on Facebook (index of 128), Twitter (index of 149) and Instagram (index of  231).

One of the many eye-opening insights in The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers is an analysis of U.S. Census-based data showing that by 2030 all of the nation’s population growth will come from multicultural consumers, as 2012 was the first year that non-multicultural mortality exceeded births. Most importantly, the compound effect of relative youth and longer life expectancy translates into extended effective years of buying power for Hispanics (56.5), Asian-Americans (52.3) and African- Americans (42.3), compared to Non-Hispanic whites (36.7). For marketers and advertisers, the many additional years of effective buying power represented by multicultural consumers translates into a better long-term ROI on their marketing and advertising dollars and a chance to align their brand with a fast-expanding pool of empowered tech-savvy  shoppers.

The report reveals how, by understanding the cultural essence that drives multicultural super consumer behavior today, marketers and advertisers can better understand future market trends. Multicultural Super Consumers can heavily influence non-multicultural consumers in Super Geo areas—geographies with a higher concentration of Super Consumers. Proximity to other cultures and the sharing of cultural influences, attitudes and behaviors in Super Geo clusters magnifies the multicultural  opportunity.

The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers incorporates a number of key EthniFacts paradigms and market insights, among  them:

Ambicultural® Identity – the ability and willingness to function competently and often with effortless duality in two cultures, which allows many multicultural consumers to simultaneously maintain their cultural heritage and see themselves as equally American. Multicultural consumers gravitate to brands, products and activities that reinforce their cultural  roots.

CulturEdge®the social spaces where people of any race or ethnicity exchange and mix their distinct cultures with parity and reciprocity. These social spaces include physical venues with multiethnic proximity and virtual ones as in social media, shared lifestyle orientations and popular culture affinities that reflect and re-enforce the cultural diversity around  them.

New Mainstream – the emerging U.S. multicultural marketplace, as described in Garcia’s The New Mainstream: How the Multicultural Consumer Is Transforming American Business. Up-ending the myth that ethnicity and race will eventually become irrelevant and dissolve into a homogenous “general market.” Marketers should instead adjust and update their efforts to address a new mainstream marketplace that reflects and acknowledges consumers of all ethnicities and races as a source of new business trends and business growth and develop an activation strategy based on this  reality.

Multicultural consumers gravitate to brands, products, activities and media that reinforce their cultural roots, and these behaviors are affecting the purchase behavior of non-multicultural consumers too. The report contains examples of Sriracha’s rise to mainstream condiment and demonstrates how media executives who were once hesitant to feature multicultural content in mainstream shows are instead doubling down on CulturEdge content as the best way to generate buzz and attract a critical mass of viewers from across the racial and ethnic spectrum to shows like Fox’s record-breaking  Empire.

To download a copy of the full report, please visit Nielsen’s website at or visit EthniFacts’ website at


EthniFacts is a knowledge and insights consultancy with a comprehensive perspective on evolving consumer culture and civic and social engagement in a new multicultural America. For more information, please contact Mike Lakusta, 972-567-1981,

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.