by AGNES CONSTANTE | NBC News Asian America | MAY 8, 2017
A new report from Nielsen has found that Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) buying power and influence is experiencing "rapid" expansion and is only expected to continue to grow exponentially, driven in part by AAPI women.
The report, titled "Asian American Women: Digitally Fluent with an Intercultural Mindset" is Nielsen's fifth annual AAPI consumer report and was released Monday. It found that AAPI women own more smartphones than any other female racial group in the United States, are avid users of social media, and are influencing mainstream health and beauty trends, among other findings.
"Asian American women are the consumers of the future—they are young, digitally fluent and open to trying new products and services," Mariko Carpenter, vice president of strategic community alliances at Nielsen, told NBC News in an email. "The report indicates that at the average age of 36, Asian American females are just entering into their effective buying years and are driving the economic impact of Asian Americans' overall rising buying power, especially across the travel, beauty and grocery industries."
Separated into three sections, the report examined AAPI women's buying habits and media consumption and the segment's increasing influence in the mainstream.
Among findings were that AAPI women value healthy living, with 50 percent of respondents reporting that they regularly consume organic food. They also place importance on self-care, which Nielsen determined through purchases of health and beauty products, and they are avid travelers.
Also important to surveyed women is passing on their cultural values to their children, something 69 percent of respondents agreed with.
In technology, the report found that AAPI women own more computers, smartphones, tablets, and video games than the general U.S. population as well as use more communication platforms, including GroupMe, Skype, and WhatsApp Messenger.
The report also touched on areas that Asians Americans and Pacific Islanders have influenced the mainstream, particularly the popularization of yoga and Korean beauty products.
"They're integrating their cultural heritage into their American lifestyles and driving trends like Korean beauty products with their intercultural mindset," Carpenter said. "Asian American women's outsized influence on consumers extends through their strong digital engagement--83% have used social media in the past 30 days."
According to the report, the total AAPI population has grown 47 percent in the last decade while the AAPI female population grew 49 percent. The number of AAPI women born in the U.S. has increased 60 percent since 2005; the number of foreign-born AAPI women 43 percent.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are projected to become the largest immigrant group in the United States by 2055, according to Pew Research. AAPI buying power has grown 222 percent, to $891 billion, since 2000, according to the Nielsen report.
In addition to consumer behavior, the report found that AAPI women are majority or equal owners in 43 percent of AAPI-owned businesses.
Given the current business landscape, where building authentic relationships with customers is crucial to brand loyalty, Carpenter said, an understanding of influential consumer segments like AAPI women is key for growth.
"The Asian American buying power has grown more than double that of the U.S. as a whole since 2000; with Asian American females contributing significantly to that growth, businesses would do well to speak to the lifestyle, values and preferences of this influential segment," she said.