Britain’s ethnic minority consumers “an interesting market” – Research

A new report challenges many common misconceptions on the spending patterns and consumer needs of Britain’s ethnic minorities.

The IPA’s latest report says it’s not true that Britain’s ethnic minorities don’t spend, behave the same as whites and are too hard to target.

The “2012 Multicultural Britain” report on ethnic diversity, examines the growing influence of the black and ethnic minority (BME) population.

It shows that they now account for 12 per cent of the whole population. Their purchasing power is £300 billion and rising.

The report also shows that mixed race Britons are becoming the fastest growing ethnic group in the UK.

The average British Indian man, according to the report, is now on a higher income than his white British counterpart.

The report includes updated research conducted by Clearcast that found only one in 20 ads made in 2011 featured ethnic minority actors.

The “2012 Multicultural Britain” shows that ethnic media has yet to make consistent inroads into mainstream marketing strategies.

There are however signs that businesses and the marketing industry are starting to take notice as the report cites examples including TK Maxx launching a range of gift cards to tie in with the Hindu festival of Diwali after discovering that over one in five of their customers were Asian. Swarovski also launched a range of crystals designed specifically to be worn with the abbaya cloaks on Middle Eastern women.

Saad Saraf, Founder and CEO of Mediareach and Chairman of the IPA Ethnic Diversity Forum and IPA Council, says: “We want this report to highlight what makes ethnic minority consumers such an interesting market. We are gradually seeing a cultural change in terms of recruitment and portrayal which I find encouraging, as is the IPA programme to monitor ethnic representation in the industry and attract talent from people regardless of their ethnic or educational background.”

Mr. Saraf says there is still much more to be done, adding that the “2012 Multicultural Britain” report “helps to make a strong case for marketers to take ethnic minority consumers more seriously.”

Debarshi Pandit, head of OMG Ethnic says: “A good chunk of second-or-third generation ethnic minorities who are well integrated into British society, still want a link to their ‘own’ culture.”

According to the report, by 2016 half of the BME population will be under the age of 12 whereas half of the white population will be under 40.

By 2051 England and Wales will be as diverse as London is now.

The report reveals that South Asian and African Caribbeans still represent the largest ethnic groups.

It also emerges that Black British women spend six times more on hair products than their white counterparts.

The report further shows that Britain’s ethnic minorities make up 7% of all car owners and are three times more likely to own a BMW.

Britain’s ethnic minorities are more likely to be early adopters of, and spend proportionally more on, new technology.

Food and non-alcoholic drink has become the third spending priority for mixed Asian and black groups. ‘Ethnic’ food, the report shows, is a growing market in the UK, accounting for more than half of the market share in Europe.

It also emerges that Indian households are most likely to own multiple cars or vans with 80% owning at least one. At the same time, half of Bangladeshis live in households with four or more people.

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