Why Hispanic Gen Z are the Future of Your Brand

A banner that reads "MÁS & MAIS" next to an image of Elsa Gonzalez and Alicia Garcia Carbonell.

Written by Elsa Gonzalez, Group Strategy Director, Research Studio, and Alicia Garcia Carbonell, Senior Strategist and co-chair of Nosotros, VMLY&R's Hispanic Employee Resource Group

By 2030, one of every five workers in the U.S. will be Hispanic.

By 2040, 70% of the net new homeowner households in the U.S. will be Latino.

If you get caught up on the Hispanic vs. Latinx vs. Latino/a/@ vs. Latine debate (don’t, the goal is inclusivity, not consensus), you might miss the fact that 36% of Gen Zers make up the largest generation among Hispanics, so we don’t have to wait a few years to see the impact they’re making today. If your target is Gen Z, Hispanics are your audience, too — they make up a quarter of all Gen Zers.

There is no doubt that this cohort of Hispanic Gen Zers will continue grow in cultural, financial, and political influence over the next several years, so it’s important to gain a better understanding of the implications this will have on consumer behaviors, as well as the role that their personal identities play in everyday life. The reality is that efforts and budgets need to accurately reflect the growing number of Hispanics in the U.S.

Just like their counterparts within their generation, Hispanic Gen Zers are rewriting the rules. While Hispanics are sometimes known for taking a back seat, accepting things as they are, and just being grateful for what they have, that’s not the case for Hispanic Gen Zers — they have grown up to be relentless and unafraid to speak up and push back against cultural norms.


They challenge the notions of identity.

While most Hispanics disagree with the term “Latinx,” the preference is driven by Gen Z, as 69% say they like the term a lot or are fine with it. But they’re also not afraid of using labels that better represent them. Like other Gen Zers, they’re more educated on topics surrounding identity and choose to keep it fluid, regardless of other people’s strong opinions about them.


Their cultural connection isn’t automatic.

They work for it by choosing entertainment, art, music, sports, and other cultural activities that keep them connected to their heritage — at a higher rate than total Hispanics, believe it or not.


Their connection to the culture has become stronger.

Although most of them have grown up trying to navigate two cultures at the same time, according to GWI USA, 39% of Hispanic Gen Zers feel more connected to their heritage today than they did a year ago.


They’re prepping for the future. Are you?

They have big plans for themselves. They are preparing to go — or sometimes go back — to school, switch careers or start a new job soon at a higher incidence than other groups, and GWI USA indicates that they’re also 106% more likely to start their own businesses than the general population.

There’s no denying that this generation is full of natural disruptors, but Hispanic Gen Zs are increasingly blurring the lines between their Hispanic AND Gen Z identities. This makes them a unique cohort to learn more from today, as we solidify our brands’ connections with them in the future.

While there’s been some progress across culture, representation is starting to pick up. After all, we have witnessed how Bad Bunny has influenced this generation to speak up against social injustices and how he’s changing the entire landscape for the future of Latinos through his music — he's even challenging the notion that only music in English can rise to No.1 in the Billboard 200.

There is still a long way to go to better connect with Hispanic Gen Zers, but an important first step is to remind everyone that Hispanic-focused efforts should go beyond Latin/Hispanic Heritage month because Hispanic Gen Z are the future.



1. https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/number-hispanic-households-will-skyrocket-2040-how-can-housing-industry-support-their-needs

2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2022/10/01/hispanic-latino-latinx-latine-words-history

3. https://archive.sensisagency.com/blog/millennials-genz-are-hispanic-market

4. https://thinknow.com/reports/thinknow-identity-report-2022

5. https://www.gwi.com/usa

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