The US Census

This week’s Ad Age had a story and insert about trends from the 2010 census. I found the information and learning interesting as a snapshot of the US market in general and my favorite industry in particular.

If you look closely at Ad Age’s analysis and spend some time with the census results itself, the “story” is about the shifting population. Not a new trend, by any means, but some interesting twists and turns that continue to affect marketing.

First, it should come as no surprise that the US is becoming more diverse — the minority populations grew 8 times faster than the majority white, non-Hispanic population.

Interestingly though, the news about Hispanics is that the population and growth is concentrated, with nearly half of all US Hispanics living in just two states – you guessed it – California and Texas. And, three quarters live in just eight states.

The Asian population is growing even faster and is more highly concentrated. Since 2000, the population has grown by 43%. New York and California have the largest concentrations.

Among African Americans, the Census data reported by Ad Age indicates, “many are moving to the suburbs and to the South…a sign of better job prospects and increasing affluence.”

I think the implications of these shifts are clear. The consumer and the spirits and wine marketplace is anything but homogeneous. Strategies, plans, brand building and related marketing/sales factors that don’t take this into account are simply worthless.

I also think that as affluence and acculturation take hold, the old rules of who drinks what need to be re-examined. As demographics change, over time, so do attitudes, life styles and purchase behavior.

Oh, one more piece of information from Ad Age caught my eye that I wanted to share. In an analysis of Boomers sponsored by AARP, it seems that older Boomers (55 to 65 years) spend as much on alcohol as the general population. But, younger Boomers (45 to 55 years) spend 15% more than the population in general.

No surprise to me…I used to think it was because the empty nest means more entertaining and food and beverage occasions. I now know better. It is not because of the empty nest – it’s more drinking because the kids have come back home.

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