SNAPSHOTSouth Florida consumers...- Eat:??More rice and certain cheeses, reflecting Hispanic tastes ... less chocolate and peanut butter. Less prepared Mexican food. More weight control products but fewer quit-smoking products.- Drink:??Red wine, either expensive or very inexpensive. No hard liquor, thanks.-?Drive:? More foreign cars, especially compacts and luxury cars.
If you want to see how south Florida differs from the rest of the state and the nation, start in the kitchen, where Hispanic and Caribbean influence wafts from stoves across the region.
Rice: $32 million in purchases,
219% above the national average
Evaporated and condensed milk: $11 million, 142% above. The canned milk is integral to tres leches, flan and cuisine in the Spanish-, English- and Creole-speaking Caribbean, says Jamaican-born Monica Dawkins, a nutrition education program supervisor for the University of Florida/Miami-Dade Cooperative Extension Service.
Dry beans: $6.8 million, 60% above average.
Seafood: Well above the national average. So are sales of vinegar -- used in marinades -- and a host of spices. "You name it, they use it," says Dawkins. "The Caribbean is the spice of life."
Hold the Sausage
Breakfast meats: 45% below average -- likely because immigrants from the Caribbean prefer fish, fried plantains or other dishes for breakfast.
Con Queso, Por Favor
Hispanic cheeses: South Florida is 61% above average, says Mike Stammer of Dairy Management. Hispanic cheese is one of the fastest-growing cheese segments nationally.
Swiss, mozzarella: South Florida is 19% above average in mozzarella and 96% above in Swiss. "I do sell an incredibly large amount of Swiss cheese," says Sarah Freedman-Izquierdo, a gourmet cheese buyer at Epicure Market in Miami Beach. It's popular in fondue, she says.
Love ItResidents of Miami-Fort Lauderdale buy at least 50% more of these products than the national average:??1.?Rice??2.?Gloves??3.?Women's fragrances??4.?Refrigerated entrees??5.?First aid treatment??6.?Suntan products??7.?Evaporated/condensed milk??8.?Refrigerated seafood??9.?Nonfruit drinks10.?Wine11.?Weight control and nutritional liquids and powder12.?Ready-to-drink tea/coffee 13.?Frozen fruit14.?Air fresheners15.?Refrigerated baked goods16.?Bottled water17.?Isotonics (sports drinks)18.?Refrigerated spreadsLeave ItMiami-Fort Lauderdale residents buy only 80% as much or less of these products as the national average:
??1. Mexican food??2. Frozen juice??3. Juice/drink concentrate??4. Pizza products??5. Marshmallows??6. Refrigerated meat/poultry??7. Frozen dough??8. Hair growth products??9. Bakery snacks10. Refrigerated teas/coffee
Fidon'tSouth Florida buys proportionately less pet food than the nation -- a function of its number of apartments and condos that don't allow pets.
Cigarettes: $123.3 million, 6% above the national average
Anti-smoking products: Just $892,358, 34% below the nation
Beverages: South Florida wine drinkers paid the highest average price per bottle ($11) in the state, and buyers in the metro were the most likely to pay $15 or more for a bottle. Even so, eight of 10 purchasers paid under $15. Six of 10 buyers bought red, above the national and state averages. South Florida is the weakest rose and blush market in the state. Other stats:
Wine: 125% above the nation ($168.5 million)
Beer and ale: 18% above the nation ($172.2 million)
Spirits/liquor: 43% below average ($19.5 million)
What South Florida Drives
South Florida vehicle owners:
Plan to spend the least in the state -- on a new car: An average of $21,726.
Are 58% less likely to have a domestic truck than the national average.
Are much more likely to own or lease a foreign-made vehicle:
compact -- 54% more likely
luxury -- 70% more likely
midsized -- 34% more likely
SUV -- 29% more likely
subcompact -- 44% more likely
van -- 78% more likely
IN THE DRIVEWAY
Top-selling vehicles in south Florida:
MIAMI DADEPALM BEACHBROWARDMiami-Dade
rank??1???Toyota Corolla6Toyota Camry3Honda Accord4??2???Honda Accord4Honda Accord4Toyota Camry3??3???Ford Explorer2Ford Explorer2Ford Explorer2??4???Honda Civic5Ford F-1501Honda Civic5??5???Toyota Camry3Honda Civic5Ford F-1501??6???Ford F-1501Dodge Ram7Toyota Corolla6??7???Ford Expedition9Nissan Altima10Ford Expedition9??8???Nissan Altima10Ford Expedition9Lexus ES30047??9???Ford Focus21Mercury Marquis13Dodge Ram710???Honda CR-V24Ford Ranger8Nissan Altima1011??VW Jetta25Ford Mustang12Ford Ranger812??Dodge Ram7Cadillac Deville17VW Jetta2513??Mitsubishi Mirage37VW Jetta25Ford Mustang1214??Toyota RAV 442Mazda Protege44Ford Focus2115??Hyundai Elantra26Lincoln Town Car23Dodge Caravan2216??Toyota Tacoma16Honda CR-V16Mercury Marquis1317??Ford Ranger8Acura TL54Honda Odyssey3218??Chevy Trailblazer20Ford Focus21Ford Taurus1519??Chevy Avalanche18Chevy Avalanche18VW Passat5820??Toyota 4Runner40Dodge Caravan22Acura TL65
AfloatTop SellersMiami - Fort Lauderdale,
2002 (fiberglass)??1. Sea Fox??2. Boston Whaler??3. Sea Ray??4. Angler??5. Pro-Line??6. Bayliner??7. Hydra-Sports??8. Mako??9. Contender10. CenturyRich Man, Poor Man
Car rankings indicate the south Florida market is heavy at both ends -- big sales of both luxury cars and affordable vehicles like Corollas and Elantras that sell well in Miami, the nation's poorest major city.
The demographics have made Kendall Toyota the highest retail sales dealer based on units sold -- of any make -- in the state.
Just as interesting: The No. 2 dealer behind Kendall Toyota is JM Lexus in Margate in north Broward County, which sells 550 cars a month at an average of $37,000 apiece. Ask David Mullen, general manager, how, and he responds: "I say, 'Explain it to me, too.' "
Mullen knows exactly how he does it. For one, his market area includes not only Broward but also upscale Boca Raton. Boca prohibits dealerships, sending lots of wealthy people to his store to buy vehicles that range from $29,000 to $70,000. Emphasis on volume guarantees a plentiful demand for service and maintenance work, bringing revenue stability. JM Lexus has a $20-million expansion under way that will include computer stations, a gymnasium and a bistro serving cappuccino.
Ford, which dominates much of the state, is relatively weaker in south Florida -- and has to market harder. In March it sponsored the Ford Championship at Doral professional golf tournament, and dealers offered buyers limited edition vehicles and passes to play the Blue Monster. "The thing with Miami and south Florida is it's incredibly competitive," says Lisa O'Connor, SUV marketing communications manager for Ford. "Everybody fights tooth and nail for a point of market share."