Economic Optimism Sets African-American Consumers Apart

ROCKVILLE, Md. – In a U.S. economy that is increasingly reliant on the purchase patterns of minority consumers, African-Americans are a key segment with a population of 44 million and buying power of more than $1 trillion in 2013, a new report by market researcher Packaged Facts shows.

By 2017, the buying power of African-Americans is anticipated to reach $1.3 trillion, according to The African-American Consumer Market, 9th Edition report.

Compared to other consumer groups, African-Americans’ marketplace influence is driven by their economic optimism, particularly in regards to their own future personal finances. African-American adults are 53 percent more likely than the average consumer to have positive expectations for the U.S. economy overall, despite generally being -- and remaining -- the most negatively impacted by the Great Recession and its aftermath, Packaged Facts found.

When African-Americans spend, it is often on high-quality, trendy, and brand-name or designer products, giving them the potential to be “retail game-changers under the right circumstances,” noted Packaged Facts Research Director David Sprinkle.

To date, many mainstream marketers have not incorporated the African-American demographic in their media and marketing campaigns. However, including this demographic would maximize their scope of influence on the consumer public. Generally, African-American consumers are highly receptive to product advertising.

This population is also more likely to notice and be influenced by marketing they encounter on their mobile phones and via the Internet — particularly social media — as well as product placement in video games and movies.

“Effective forms of targeted marketing have the ability to both significantly influence purchase decisions and establish brand loyalty that resonates for generations,” the report stated.

Packaged Facts is a division of More information on the report is available on the Packaged Facts website.

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