Friday, November 24, 2017
African-Americans Wield Considerable Consumer Power
By Sentinel News Service
Published September 29, 2011

Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. (NNPA chairman emeritus); Emanuel Cleaver (CBC chairman); Cloves Campbell (NNPA incoming chairman)

Cheryl Pearson-McNeil (the senior vice president of Public Affairs and Government Relations, the Nielsen Company)

The Black Press and the Nielsen Company produced an historic report on African Americans’ buying and spending habits, throughout the nation.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 22, 2011 -African-Americans’ buying power is expected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015. This growing economic potential presents an opportunity for Fortune 500 companies to examine and further understand this important, flourishing market segment. Likewise, when consumers are more aware of their buying power it can help them make informed decisions about the companies they want to support. So says The State of the African-American Consumer Report, released today, collaboratively by Nielsen and The National Newspaper Publishers Association.

“Too often, companies don’t realize the inherent differences of our community, are not aware of the market size impact and have not optimized efforts to develop messages beyond those that coincide with Black History Month,” said Cloves Campbell, chairman, National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). “It is our hope that by collaborating with Nielsen, we’ll be able to tell the African-American consumer story in a manner in which businesses will understand. And that this understanding will propel those in the C-Suite to develop stronger, more inclusive strategies that optimize their market growth in Black communities, which would be a win-win for all of us.”

The report, the first of three annual installments in a three-year alliance between Nielsen and NNPA, showcases the buying and media habits and consumer trends of African-Americans.

The 41st Annual Legislative Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Conference week’s activities set the backdrop for the announcement. At a press conference in Washington D.C. , flanked by civic, business and legislative leaders, Nielsen and NNPA executives spoke about the relevance and importance of the information shared in the report and the fact that it will be distributed in NNPA’s 200+ publications, reaching millions of readers.

Representing the Nielsen Company were Susan Whiting (the vice chair), and Cheryl Pearson-McNeil (the senior vice president of Public Affairs and Government Relations. The NNPA were represented by the incoming chairman Campbell and Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., chairman emeritus who had blazed the trail and set the tone of leadership that was passed on to Campbell at the Black Leadership Reception where CBC chair Emanuel Cleaver received the Black Press Champion award, and Robert Townsend, the Positive Media Image award.

“We see this alliance with NNPA as an opportunity to share valuable insights, unique consumer behavior patterns and purchasing trends with millions of readers,” said Nielsen vice chair Whiting. “By sharing, for example, that African-Americans over-index in several key areas, including television viewing and mobile phone usage, we’ve provided a better picture of where the African American community can leverage that buying power to help their communities. Likewise the information literally points businesses in the right direction for growing market share and developing long range strategies for reaching this important demographic group.”

Bakewell said, “We want to use the consumer report as an empowerment tool for our communities so that they can be aware of the companies that receive major economic benefit from them so that the community can continue to support those companies in direct proportion to the needs and services of the community.”

Consumer trends included in the report include eye-opening facts such as:
• With a buying power of nearly $1 trillion annually, if African-Americans were a country, they’d be the 16th largest country in the world.

• There were 23.9 million active African American Internet users in July 2011 – 76% of whom visited a social networking/blog site.

• 33% of all African-Americans own a smart phone.
• African-Americans use more than double the amount of mobile phone voice minutes compared to Whites – 1,298 minutes a month vs. 606.

• African Americans make more shopping trips than all other groups, but spend less money per trip. African Americans also spend 300% more in higher end retail grocers like Whole Foods(r) than any other high income household.

• A record number of 12.5 million African-American viewers helped make this year’s Super Bowl the most watched program ever.

• The number of African-American households earning $75,000 or higher grew by almost 64%, a rate close to 12% greater than the change in the overall population’s earning between 2000 and 2009. This continued growth in affluence, social influence and household income will continue to impact the community’s economic power.

• The percentage of African-Americans attending college or earning a degree has increased to 44% for men and 53% for women.

• African-American women account for 64% of the U.S. labor workforce compared to only 60% of non-African-American women.

In addition to NNPA’s distribution of the report to its millions of readers through 200+ newspapers and online viewers nationwide, the report is also available at and – Nielsen’s microsite which highlights tailored information to the African-American community.

In the not-too-distant future, the Black Press/Nielsen consumer report will be available at the Los Angeles Sentinel, on the Sentinel’s website throughout the churches and businesses in the community.

Categories: National

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