Even though similarities outweigh differences, there are consumption patterns that do differ between African Americans and Caucasians.38 For example, African Americans spend far more than Caucasians on boys’ clothing, rental goods, and audio equipment. African American women spend three times more on health and beauty products than Caucasian women. Furthermore, the typical African American family is five years younger than the typical Caucasian family. This factor alone accounts for some of the observed differences in preferences for clothing, music, shelter, cars, and many other products, services, and activities. Finally, it must be emphasized that, historically, African Americans have been deprived of employment and educational opportunities in the United States. Both factors have resulted in income disparities between African Americans and Caucasians, which influence purchase behavior.
African American women represent a large market for health and beauty products. Cosmetics companies such as Maybelline actively seek to serve this market.