Ellen Byron, Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2011
Expect more Spanish on your tube of Crest toothpaste.
Procter & Gamble Co., looking for ways to boost its sluggish U.S. business, is accelerating its efforts to win over Hispanic shoppers. Using insights turned out by its army of researchers, P&G is tweaking products, retargeting its marketing, changing its mix of celebrity spokeswomen and making greater use of Spanish on its products.
Sales in the U.S. Hispanic population, however, are showing better growth. In the past decade, the demographic’s spending on laundry, household-cleaning supplies and personal-care products grew nearly three times faster than non-Hispanics’ outlays, according to market-research firm Packaged Facts.
Hispanic households tend to spend more on cleaning and beauty products and are more loyal to the brands they like than the average U.S. consumer, industry analysts say. P&G’s researchers have found that while generally frugal spenders, Hispanics are also willing to splurge on the types of premium household goods that P&G makes, subscribing to the phrase “lo barato sale caro,” meaning that cheap things may ultimately prove costly.
P&G has increasingly targeted Hispanic shoppers in recent years, designing products and marketing to appeal to the demographic. The company has found Hispanic consumers are more likely to be fans of using fragrances in their homes. To capture that preference, P&G has rolled out products including Febreze’s “Destinations Collection” of air fresheners featuring scents like Brazilian Carnaval and Hawaiian Aloha. Likewise, its new Gain dish soap features fragrances like “Apple Mango Tango.”
Meanwhile, P&G’s Pantene shampoo and Gillette Venus razors now include actress Eva Mendes as well as singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, respectively, as spokeswomen.
Also on the agenda is greater use of Spanish on P&G products and coupons. Such moves rankled some shareholders who complained at the company’s annual meeting last October that most Americans spoke English.