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Lazos Latinos
The Flowers of our Heritage

With variety names like Sangria, Tango and Samba, flower breeders attest tot the Spanish influence in floriculture todayGreen Profit
Volume 4, No. 7
By Cristina Benitez
(August 2000)

As the Latino population, which now makes up 12% of the U.S. population, continues to swell, there are many public celebrations and festivities you can use to market to this group. One of the best times to target the Latino customer is during Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15.

Target the Hispanic customers' senses and focus on their culture, which is filled with the colors and textures of magnificent flowers. Use the latest trends in the horticulture industry and the popularity of tropical plants, colors, fragrances and names to attract Hispanic consumers. Variety names, such as Fiesta double impatiens, attest to the Spanish influence in floriculture today.

"Universal Spanish" is the best way to motivate the Hispanic consumer. Studies have shown that commercials in Spanish are five times more persuasive then English commercials, and message comprehension in Spanish is 56% more effective than in English. Use Spanish and English signage to most effectively convey your marketing message.

Our traditions

Our interest in flowers and plants stems from centuries-old traditions and our memories of living in temperate zones. The Incas and Aztecs made floating raft-gardens, chinampas, which were built out of roots and reeds and covered with three to four feet of rich lake mud. The chinampas increased the amount of land available for planting, and gardeners could pole the rafts to take floating fields of vegetables to market. The Spaniards left vivid accounts of these extraordinary gardens of flowers growing among food crops.

From Spain, the conquistadors brought architectural designs of the patios, inner courtyards and materials such as wrought iron and terra cotta. Designs came from the rich Moorish influence of geometric patterns and warm colors. The patio and garden styles from Spain provide the U.S. with a rich heritage for home design in warm climates.

The stats

  • Hispanics are one of the youngest, fastest-growing minority groups in the U.S., numbering 31 million out of a total of 275 million people.

  • The median age of Latinos is 26, compared with 35 for the rest of the population.

  • By 2010, 14% of the U.S. population will be Hispanic. By 2030, that number will swell to 19%.

  • The purchasing power of Latinos has hit a compound annual growth rate of 7.5%, compared with 4.9% of the population at large.

  • The collective Hispanic buying power this year is more than $325 billion.

  • A whopping 76% of Hispanics would be more likely to buy from companies that contribute to their community/neighborhood.

  • Reasonable prices and product variety are the two biggest factors when Hispanics are deciding to shop.

  • While only 25% of the general population shops at supermarkets two or more times a week, 40% of Hispanic consumers shop that often.

  • Recognizing the importance of this group, Sears recently launched its Future Leaders Program, which will give part-time jobs and manager-level volunteer mentors to Hispanic high school students.


Cristina Benitez is president of Chicago-based Lazos Latinos, which is a specialty strategic branding and consulting company creating programs targeted to the Latino consumer.

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