Salvadoran Consumption of Ethnic Foods in the United States

S. Patricia Batres-Marquez, Helen H. Jensen, Gary W. Brester
October 2001  [01-WP 289]

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Batres-Marquez, S.P., H.H. Jensen, and G. Brester. 2001. "Salvadoran Consumption of Ethnic Foods in the United States." Working paper 01-WP 289. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.


The U.S. Salvadoran population is the largest group of Central and South American people living in the United States today. This study investigates the U.S. food market for thirty Salvadoran foods and the demographic characteristics and attitudes of Salvadorans toward these foods, based on data obtained from a survey conducted among Salvadoran people in Los Angeles, California, and Houston, Texas. Those surveyed were predominantly low income, without a high school degree, and living in large families. The Salvadoran foods consumed most were tortilla flour, red beans, loroco, semita, queso duro, and horchata. Four different groups of households were determined by using cluster analysis. The results indicate that products from El Salvador with the greatest market potential in the United States are vegetables and fruits, bread and candy, and beverages.