'Made in the USA' Matters In China, Too

Made-in-the-USA-Shutterstock-BThere may not be a lot of products wearing "Made in the USA" labels these days, but consumers respond positively when they see them. Not so much for "Made in China." The surprising thing is these consumers are both in the U.S. and in China. Perception Research Services International (PRS) says four out of five U.S. shoppers notice the “Made in the USA” claims and are more likely to purchase the product that wears it. 

It is not because of inherent product value, though. Shoppers say the number one reason they are more likely to buy “Made in the USA” is to “help the economy.” The American-made products they prefer are food, medicine and personal care items. 



But how about if the products say "Made in China" -- which is, of course, just about everything. For the first time this year, the firm asked consumers in the U.S. how they feel when they see that nearly ubiquitous notification. Surprisingly, consumers notice it nearly as much as “Made in the USA” (76% vs. 83%). Just over half (57%) say they are less likely to purchase products that are made in China, not because of patriotism, but because of safety and quality concerns. The firm says that the reason consumers respond positively to the Chinese origin of a product is the likelihood of a cheap price.  

"Made in China" isn't a slam dunk in China, either. Preliminary data by PRS from China suggest that Chinese shoppers like “Made in the USA.” Just over half (58%) of shoppers in China who notice a “Made in China” claim are positively influenced by it, but like Americans, it's about the better price.

In terms of U.S. demographics, the study found that people 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. 

Said Jonathan Asher, EVP of PRS, in a statement: "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.”

The study, performed in July, polled 1,400 consumers from a nationally representative online sample. The “Made in China” study was conducted this month and last August among around 500 Chinese consumers.

Image by Shutterstock

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