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Asians are twice as likely to be Costco patrons, data shows

Asian Americans are nearly twice as likely to shop at Costco than other communities, new data from the market research firm Numerator found.

Although Asian Americans only represent 7% of the country’s population, Costco’s consumer base as of last year consisted of 10% Asian American shoppers. In comparison to the average consumer, NBC News reported, Costco patrons are 81% more likely to be Asian American. 

This finding can be attributed to Asian Americans often having larger household sizes than the average consumer and generally preferring to buy in bulk, NBC News reported. Asian Americans are also the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S.

“For Asian Americans, their rate of population acceleration certainly lends to this idea that … they’re going to be creating major market shifts,” said Kymberly Graham, head of diversity initiatives at NielsenIQ, in 2022, NBC News reported. “Their needs are being served, it inherently becomes very profitable for anyone that’s serving them.”

Costco works to diversify its product selection such as by adding boba ice cream, oyster sauce and durian pulp to their shelves, which may increase the number of Asian American patrons, according to CNBC

“When I saw it in Costco, it just made me laugh that durian has gone mainstream,” said Wendy Leung, a Costco shopper and nonprofit worker who was born in Hong Kong, to CNBC. “I’ve definitely been noticing more Asian products at Costco lately.”

CNBC reported that while Costco does not spend any money on advertising, Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for market research firm NPD Group, explained that word of mouth can boost a retailer’s popularity within certain communities.

“Every once in a very blue moon would you hear about a major retailer focused in on the Asian community,” said Cohen to CNBC. “Word of mouth and the influence of the community spreads, and that’s what helps elevate a business. So if a business like a Costco caters to the Asian community, they share that out and that multiplies out.”

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