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"Made in the USA" Matters to Shoppers - Including Millennials

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"Made in the USA" Matters to Shoppers - Including Millennials

Something US middle market manufacturers like to hear.

Results from a recent shopper research survey indicate that US shoppers really do care about where their purchases are made.

According to the research, conducted by Perception Research Services (PRS), shoppers are motivated by "Made in the USA" claims on packaging, as most say that they are more likely to purchase a product after noticing the "Made in the USA" claim on it. This claim has resonated with baby boomers in the past, and is now influencing Millenials more so than in prior years.

According to the Boston Consulting Group's (BCG) Center for Consumer and Customer Insight, U.S. Millennials are receptive to cause marketing and are more likely than non-Millenials to purchase items associated with a particular cause (37% versus 30%). Consistent with 2012, the PRS study shows that the primary reason shoppers claim they are more likely to purchase "Made in the USA" products is to "help the economy." Considering that Millennial shoppers may still be feeling the effects of the last recession, it makes sense that they want to reinvigorate the U.S. economy.

Another reason many shoppers claim to prefer "Made in the USA" products is because they are perceived to be higher quality and worth paying more for. According to the BCG, "when considering similar products made in the U.S. vs. China, the average American is willing to pay up to 60% more for U.S. made products." 

"Walmart asserts it is giving its suppliers added incentives that would increase sourcing of American-made products by $50 billion over the next 10 years and create more than 1,600 American jobs."

However, this may vary greatly based on the specific product category. Recent sales data suggest that many apparel shoppers are willing to forgo some level of product quality in order to pay less. According to industry analysts at NPD, many T-shirts that are bought today are lighter than they used to be since manufacturers had to take things out to keep the price the same.

But Wal-Mart, for one, is pushing to have it both ways – maintain low costs while still providing American made goods.  Walmart asserts it is giving its suppliers added incentives that would increase sourcing of American-made products by $50 billion over the next 10 years and create more than 1,600 American jobs. 

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