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Nielsen: New opportunities to tap Black consumers found in fitness, finance areas

(February 27, 2015) Companies seeking opportunities to extend your brand's reach to African-American consumers will find the pantry and consumers' pocketbooks a good place to start.

Results from a recent Nielsen survey of 10,000 African-American adults uncovered attitudinal views on health and wellness priorities and financial management behaviors -- two areas where marketers can expand their reach and better connect with African-American consumers.

Many consumers made resolutions to get fit and healthy in the New Year, and African-Americans are no exception. In fact, 92% of the African-Americans surveyed said they felt it's important to live a healthy lifestyle, and they're doing so by adopting healthier habits. Findings suggest that African-Americans are more likely than the general population to reduce what they may consider unhealthy or bad habits, such as fatty foods.

They also may make greater efforts to reduce their alcohol intake and decrease cigarette consumption. African-American respondents were also more likely to have concerns about weight maintenance (36% compared with 33%), work/life balance (39% compared with 33%) and disease treatment (28% compared with 24%).

As a result, African-Americans' (age 18-54) participation in various fitness activities aligns with their health goals. This includes running, swimming, and biking -- where African-Americans have reported activity levels of 40%, 34% and 30% respectively, in the last year. Participation in activities such a as yoga/pilates, jogging, tennis, soccer and camping have also increased among health conscious African-Americans.

Marketers that manage brands with products or services in these particular areas have an opportunity to better establish and build relationships with black consumers.

Increases in attainment of higher education and post-graduate degrees parallels a rise in household income among black households. And while 34% of survey respondents said they were happy about the amount of money they saved, only 7% are aggressively investing. Consequently, only 29% were thinking about retirement, compared with 40% of the general population. There is a unique opportunity for financial marketers to close this gap by deploying programs that better educate consumers about money matters. Those that do will be best poised for success.

These findings are based on the Nielsen+ESSENCE Custom Survey: 2014. The custom data used in this report is composed of a collection of surveys. 1.) Survey of Adults 18+ that was collected from a nationally representative online panel, plus an additional oversample of African-Americans. 2.) Survey collected in person at the 2014 ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans. 3.) Interviews conducted in person at the 2014 ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans.

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