Creative Channel National Consumer Product Primary Research
We identified regional & demographic differences, overall:
East & West Coasts: have relatively weak feelings about “Made in America”
Central/Midwest (and more rural areas of East Coast): tend to feel more strongly about supporting “Made in America” products
The more pertinent question is: at what cost? And the answer is pretty clear:
The large majority of shoppers vote with their wallets. This superseded how shoppers feel about “Made in America” labels. Price is the driving factor across the board, with only a few pockets deviating from this norm.
~75% of customers were not concerned about manufacturing source (some feel that it’s a “nice to have” only). Further, even those who do have a preference for “Made in America” tend not to base purchasing decisions solely on this. Instead, price & features compel buying choices.
Similar to above, ~80% of Retail Sales Associates are not focused on “made in America.” They are savvy enough that even “domestic” brands are often only designed and assembled in America.
However, we did find a tendency for Retail Sales Associates to ‘mirror’ customers’ mindsets in terms of selling points, including manufacturing origin. In other words, when customers volunteer their dedication to American-made, Retail Sales Associates will filter to those brands from the outset (just as they would respond to customer’s price bands and other priorities).
On the whole, customers are not concerned with manufacturing origin. This is particularly true for urban, young, more tech-savvy, and wealthier customers.
In fact, these customers are willing to spend more to get the features/style they want, and “made in America” is not part of their purchasing decisions. We have not seen new tariffs hinder purchasing.
On the other hand, older and more rural Americans prefer “Made in America” labels (particularly in the Southeast), but cost still drives purchasing decisions.
The East Coast attracts a sizable population who originally come from the Midwest (e.g. Snowbirds in Florida). These customers are more loyal to “made in America” despite being on the East Coast (i.e. their hearts and buying practices remain in the Midwest).
Those who are financially able to will spend more for American-made products
If they are not as affluent, price wins
The sentiment around “Made in America” differs from the West & East coasts
~60% of consumers feel viscerally about manufacturing origins and speak the language of “Made in America;” however, the majority of purchasing decisions are still based on price
This is more of a “hot topic” here than on the coasts. They feel that the current political context is “uniting” not “polarizing”
Consumer preference for American manufacturing is related to values-based patriotism and specifically tied to American jobs (as much of the region saw and feel manufacturing job losses over the past few generations)
Unlike many consumers (unless they have researched it specifically), Retail Sales Associates are aware that even “made in America” products are often assembled domestically using imported parts.