The power of the latino pocket book is growing stronger across the country and Amarillo is no exception.
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Amarillo pegs the buying power of local latinos around 100-million dollars - and notes Hispanics spend more money on groceries than other ethnic groups.
NewsChannel 10's Julia Bagg shows us how one small local supermarket targets those dollars... Using strategies big chain stores are eying as well.
Piñatas and latin music greet shoppers at Fiesta foods in northeast Amarillo... A store that even has it's own tortilleria.
"Something simple as a tortilla... you know, the size and the texture of the flower is important. The mainstream, the Walmarts, the Uniteds they're buying in bulk so they can cut costs. Well Fiesta Foods isn't doing as much of that as those stores so that way they can special order, but they know that the market's there for those special orders items, that way they don't hesitate to bring them in because they know they'll be able to sell quickly."
One strategy for attracting Hispanic customers is carrying products like cactus pears and tamarindos... things Hispanics are familiar with, but are hard to find elsewhere.
"Not everyone would know what everything in there is, but alot of it is essential to Hispanic cooking.
Another essential ingredient...words the customers can understand. "We don't really have a separation of language here. If a customer comes in.. and we have a lot of Hispanics who don't speak Spanish, so we want everybody to feel comfortable."
Feeling comfortable also means avoiding mixed messages. "Alot of Hispanic consumers, they're kind of caught in the middle, they feel on one hand that they're really not wanted and on the other hand they're being marketed to so it's conflicting. And that's why it's important for the corporations to build that relationship so that way Hispanics don't feel pulled from both directions."