Mature, multi-ethnic couples with comfortable and active lives in middle-class suburbs
As first-generation Americans, the members of Progressive Potpourri have done well. With a third Hispanic and more than 10 percent Asian, many have achieved success through hard work and devotion to family. Now mainly in their 40s and 50s, they tend to be married home-owners with empty-nests. Nearly half have gone to college, parlaying their educations into a mix of well- paying white-collar, service-sector and blue-collar jobs. Today, they live in comfortable inner-ring suburbs around the nation’s big coastal cities. Having settled in modest houses more than a decade ago, many have watched their children grow up and their home values rise over time. Most of their kids are now out of the house and their properties are worth far above the national average.
With their solid incomes and suburban settings, Progressive Potpourri have comfortable lifestyles. They go to restaurants, movies and nightclubs. They travel routinely to their home countries to visit family and friends; in their neighborhoods, you still find full-service travel agencies on street corners. They care about keeping fit, going to health clubs to jog and work out on stationary bikes and cardio machines. Many have adult toys like boats and motorcycles as an escape from their jobs. But these households believe in the primacy of the family and they spend a lot of time at home entertaining friends, reading and gardening.
You won’t find a lot of upscale shopaholics among Progressive Potpourri. They like to experiment with styles and buy designer fashion, but they tend to patronize mainstream chains like Sears and K-Mart. And though they talk about their fondness for technology, they’re only moderate buyers of most audio and video gadgets. They like to buy new cars based on looks and styling, but they generally drive around in mid-range sedans, vans and subcompacts. Their one consolation to status is their preference for imported over domestic makes.
Compared to average Americans, they’re more progressive in their attitudes. Progressive Potpourri are liberal in their outlook and Democratic in the voting booth. They’re tolerant of other nationalities and support equal rights for all, but they tend to be social conservatives. Mostly they’re pragmatic optimists who see hard work as the key to success. Despite their advancing age, they still talk of climbing up the career ladder and say that they don’t mind putting in the time to get to the top. Some want to start their own business, hoping for a last big score. In this lifestyle, it’s never too late to dream big; success is counted in dollars.
Progressive Potpourri are also a media-filled segment whose members appreciate both old and new media in both English and Spanish. They listen to the radio, turning in stations that offer adult contemporary, modern rock and Mexican programming. They reflect the general population in their fondness for newspapers and magazines, especially Spanish-language publications, along with English celebrity and fashion magazines. They’re fond of TV, particularly premium channels that offer Spanish-language shows. Although online usage rates have lagged among the other Hispanic segments, these households are Internet-savvy, going online for chat and message boards as well as to download music and videos. Many expect to acquire even more online services in the coming year.
Progressive Potpourri are a collection of immigrant households. These foreign-born people came to America more than a decade ago and are now living comfortably in the suburbs. Nearly a third are Hispanic; more than 10 percent are Asian. Most households speak English at home, though a relatively small percentage speak only Spanish. They tend to be married couples between 45 and 65 years old, with grown children and empty nests, but these households also have above-average rates for being home to both grown adults and aging seniors. Nearly half the households contain someone who’s gone to college, and many have multiple earners employed in white-collar, service-sector and blue-collar professions.
Progressive Potpourri tend to live in multi-ethnic neighborhoods in the inner-ring suburbs of the nation’s big cities. High concentrations can be found in communities like Buena Park, outside of Los Angeles; Elmont, near Manhattan; and Franklin Park, not far from Chicago. In their close-in suburbs, they’ve watched their modest homes appreciate in value; today most of their brick ramblers and ranches are worth nearly $300,000. These established couples also enjoy the stability of their mid-scale communities. A majority have lived at the same residence for more than a decade.
Progressive Potpourri enjoy pursuing mainstream American activities with an ethnic twist. They often go out to bars, nightclubs, casinos and comedy clubs, and while also go to movies, they, not surprisingly, attend a lot of foreign-language films. They like to travel, particularly to their homelands in Central and South America. They enjoy eating both traditional American and Hispanic cuisine, and they go out to restaurants like California Pizza Kitchen, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Sizzler, Denny’s and On the Border. They also enjoy a lot of low-key, home- based activities; they enjoy reading books, gardening, woodworking and collecting coins and crystal figures. They say that family reunions are big events in their households.
When it comes to exercise, Progressive Potpourri are indistinguishable from the general population, with average participation in going to health clubs, jogging, biking and using cardio machines. They also enjoy fishing, boating, rock climbing and motorcycles.
Progressive Potpourri find joy in consumption. They tend to be brand-loyal and appreciate companies that advertise in Spanish. They’re the kind of shoppers who like to browse, don’t need a sale to visit a favorite store, and prefer retailers that offer a large selection of goods. Their favorite stores include a wide range of mid-market and discount chains, including Sears, K- Mart, Payless Shoe Source, Costco, Marshall’s and Macy’s. They visit specialty retailers like Victoria’s Secret and Sephora.
While they like to keep abreast of the latest in consumer gadgets, they have only average rates for buying DVD players and flat-panel TVs. They’re utilitarian when it comes to their transportation, tending to buy standard sedans, sturdy vans and modest subcompacts. They're twice as likely as average Americans to own a Toyota Camry.
In Progressive Potpourri, most households prefer English-language media, but they also like some in Spanish. They have an average interest in radio, typically listening on their way to work to English and Spanish news and music stations. They have average rates for reading newspapers and magazines; their favorite English titles include Bon Appétit, Glamour and Lucky. TV is their main source of entertainment and information; indeed, they’re nearly twice as likely as the general population to describe themselves as TV addicts. They subscribe to virtually every premium cable channel. While they are not fond of TV commercials, they’re more receptive to ads on bus shelters, billboards and train and subway platforms.
Having left their country and achieved the American Dream, many members of Progressive Potpourri are optimistic, ambitious and pragmatic. Most are well-assimilated and say that they like to keep up with American news, music and sports. They say that it’s important to seize opportunities in life and to keep striving for your goals. These workaholics are still trying to reach the top of their careers, perhaps thinking about starting their own business and making a lot more money - “the measure of success” to these Americans. These determined individuals say they’re willing to give up family time to advance.
Politically and socially, Progressive Potpourri is a progressive segment. They describe their outlook as left of center, and a majority align themselves with the Democratic Party. Having come from another country, they’re tolerant of other ethnic groups and think Americans should strive for equality. They do care about family values. They’re not involved in many civic groups, but they’re willing to volunteer for a good cause. Mostly they support the primacy of their home: they like being surrounded by their family and friends.
Progressive Potpourri make an effort to have a healthy lifestyle, by eating a balanced diet, avoiding fast food and taking vitamins daily. When they feel ill, they seek out medical advice where they can - from the library, friends and the ads supplied by health care companies.
Progressive Potpourri make comfortable incomes, but that doesn’t mean that they’re financially at ease. Reflecting a traditional antipathy for the banking system, they have relatively few investments and income-producing assets, and they consider the stock market too risky. They do have good credit: they carry a number of charge cards - both standard and prestige - and typically pay off their balances each month. Many also have good health insurance supplied by their workplace. A significant proportion is adamant about not going into debt, and they have only an average amount of home and car loans. They have a strong charitable streak and donate money regularly to social service groups, public television and private foundations. In this age of plastic and digital payments, many admit that they still like to carry cash.
Progressive Potpourri typically treat the Internet as a tool for communication. Fond of both English and Spanish Websites, they go online to chat, read message boards and check out jobs. They visit few popular Websites, however. Increasingly, though, they’re accessing the Internet for entertainment, by downloading music and videos as well as listening to Internet radio stations. They say that the Internet has changed the way they shop, socialize and access family entertainment. They also show tendencies to access news and media sites, portal pages and sports pages. With many receiving only limited advertising, they tend to respond to email ads. They’re aspirational digital denizens: an above-average number say that they plan to add online services in the next year.