‘If you make it here, make it clear,’ says research


Four out of five shoppers notice “Made in the USA” labels, according to a 2012 research survey conducted by Perception Research Services International (PRS). This finding is similar to 2011 levels (83% vs. 80%). And most of those shoppers (76%) claim that they are more likely to purchase a product after noticing the “Made in the USA” claim.

These shoppers maintain that the number one reason they are more likely to buy “Made in the USA” is to “help the economy”. Yet, the products they say they would prefer to purchase – if American-made – suggest that quality and safety may be the true motivating factors. These include food, medicine and personal care items.

“Whether it is for quality assurance, to boost the economy, or out of patriotism, buying American-made products is becoming quite fashionable among U.S. shoppers,” says Jonathan Asher, Executive Vice President of PRS.   “Particularly for products that are ingested such as food, beverages and medicines – if you make it here, make that clear – that is, include a “Made in the USA” mention on your package (and possibly other marketing communications) so that shoppers are aware of that fact.”

For the first time this year, we asked shoppers in the U.S. about products that tout a “Made in China” claim. This is noticed nearly as much as “Made in the U.S.A.” (76% vs. 83%). However, just over half (57%) say they are less likely to purchase products that are Made in China – mostly because of Safety and Quality concerns. The positive associations with “Made in China” are related to a better price.

Shoppers that are over 35 years old are the most likely to be positively influenced by the “Made in the USA” claim and the most negatively influenced by the “Made in China” one. It’s not clear if the 18-34 year olds see the world differently based on their collective experiences and influences, or if they simply have not yet reached an age where they’re affected by these considerations.

Interestingly, we also have preliminary data from China that reveals that a “Made in China” claim does not resonate as well there as “Made in the U.S.A.” does here. Just over half (58%) of shoppers in China that notice a “Made in China” claim are positively influenced by it. The primary reason given is a better price.

This research for “Made in the USA” was conducted in July 2012 among over 1400 consumers, aged 18+, drawn from a nationally representative online sample in the United States. The “Made in China” study was conducted in August-September 2012 among approximately 500 consumers, aged 18+, drawn from a nationally representative sample in China.

About PRS

Founded in 1972 and headquartered in Fort Lee, New Jersey, Perception Research Services International (PRS) specializes in consumer research to develop, assess and improve shopper communications, including packaging and POS systems. PRS conducts over 800 studies annually on behalf of marketers, designers and manufacturers, including: qualitative research, on-shelf packaging assessments, in-store, online and with PRS Eye-Tracking. With office locations throughout the United States, Europe and Singapore, our global reach helps clients win at retail the world over.

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