Asian American Buying Patterns Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial/ethnic subculture in the United States. About 70 percent of Asian Americans are immigrants. Most are under the age of 30.
The Asian subculture is composed of Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, Koreans, Asian Indians, people from Southeast Asia, and Pacific Islanders. The diversity of the Asian subculture is so great that generalizations about buying patterns of this group are difficult to make.39Consumer research on Asian Americans suggests that individuals and families can be divided into two groups. Assimilated Asian Americans are conversant in English, highly educated, hold professional and managerial positions, and exhibit buying patterns very much like the typical American consumer. Nonassimilated Asian Americans are recent immigrants who still cling to their native languages and customs.
The diversity of Asian Americans evident in language, customs, and tastes requires marketers to be sensitive to different Asian nationalities. For example, Anheuser-Busch’s agricultural products division sells eight varieties of California-grown rice, each with a different Asian label to cover a range of nationalities and tastes. The company’s advertising also addresses the preferences of Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans for different kinds of rice bowls. McDonald’s actively markets to Asian Americans. According to a company executive, “We recognize diversity in this market. We try to make our messages in the language they prefer to see them.”
Studies show that the Asian American subculture as a whole is characterized by hard work, strong family ties, appreciation for education, and median family incomes exceeding those of any other ethnic group. This subculture is also the most entrepreneurial in the United States, as evidenced by the number of Asian-owned businesses. These qualities led Metropolitan Life Insurance to identify Asian Americans as a target for insurance following the company’s success in marketing to Hispanics.