International Business Strategies

Hispanics, Thanksgiving and Pizza: The ‘Knead’ to Know

Can examining U.S. Hispanic online pizza sales reveal ways to generate more interest and sales during Thanksgiving?

Victoria Bloyer's avatar
Victoria Bloyer

November 14, 2015


MotionPoint’s Countdown to Black Friday is here! To celebrate the recent publication of our exclusive report on Hispanics and Thanksgiving week shopping, we’re examining unique aspects of consumer behavior all over the world. Today, we cast our gaze to the U.S. Hispanic market—and to the tasty topic of pizza!

Earlier this year, we reported that major media events such as the Super Bowl, the World Cup, and the Academy Awards generate pronounced spikes in pizza sales among Spanish-speaking U.S. Hispanics. Our immediate tongue-in-cheek conclusion: while Hispanics will always remain loyal to their cultural roots, they’re happily embracing the time-honored American custom of gorging on pizza while watching TV with friends.

Our more serious and nuanced conclusion: U.S. companies eager to increase their domestic revenue and build a loyal customer base should engage U.S. Hispanics. This market is keen to partake in American pastimes and cultural traditions. Hispanics simply may need, or prefer, to communicate in Spanish to do so.

We recently conducted further study, and can add another American tradition that U.S. Hispanics embrace: Thanksgiving. Our proof wasn’t found in supermarket statistics involving turkey and cranberry sauce. Instead, we examined sales stats for that venerable “traditional” American food: pizza.

A 2013 Nielsen report found that Thanksgiving tops the list of “main Hispanic celebrations” embraced by this thriving market. Fifty-one percent of all Latino households celebrate it; in homes where Spanish is the preferred spoken language, that number rises to nearly 70%. Thanksgiving may be a very “American” holiday, but there’s little surprise why it’s readily embraced by Latinos. After all, who would turn down a chance to spend quality time with family and loved ones—especially when there’s an accompanying feast big enough to feed an army?

But what does this have to do with pizza? MotionPoint operates localized Hispanic-friendly websites for America’s largest pizza delivery chains. We recently examined 2014 sales data from these Spanish-language sites to see how they relate to Thanksgiving. Our goal: to see how Hispanics were consuming pizza around, and during, the holiday.

Our findings were intriguing. Based on our analysis, the day before Thanksgiving is a very good day for pizza sales. Last year, orders increased an average of 71% compared to a typical Wednesday. Revenue surged even higher: 94%. (In the case of one company, revenues increased by 236%!)

What’s behind those increase sales and revenue? We surmise Hispanic families are giving their designated chefs an evening off, before they dive into an all-day cooking event on Thanksgiving. There also may be more mouths to feed, due to visiting family members. Pizza delivery provides an easy and economical solution.

Did those sales stay sky-high on Thanksgiving Day? Nope. Pizza sales plummeted 63% compared to an average Thursday. Revenue was down 67%. The numbers tell a tale of less stuffed-crust pizza, and more turkey and stuffing.

The next day—better known by most shopaholics as Black Friday—things weren’t quite business as usual. Historically, Fridays are fantastic for pizza companies, with lots of transactions and high order values. But the day after Turkey Day is a bit different. Our localized sites saw 6% less sales than an average busy Friday.

The decreased sales really impacted revenue. These Spanish-language sites made 22% less money than on an average Friday. On Black Friday, leftovers reign supreme.

If you’re a U.S.-based pizza company, opportunities exist to cleverly engage Hispanics around the Thanksgiving holiday. Offering localized promotions and deals would encourage more spending. The increase in orders can help offset any losses caused during the Thanksgiving and Black Friday slump.

If you’re not yet engaging the Hispanic market, MotionPoint can help. We localize websites for this thriving market. Further, our Global Growth team examines data and executes localized marketing campaigns to optimize a site’s ROI.

If you’re ready to open up your business to new domestic and international markets, contact us. Global Growth is always ready to talk turkey.

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