Consumers will pay more for American-made products, but inflation takes a toll: poll

A Retail Brew/Harris Poll survey found that consumers want more US-made products, but there are limits to how much more they’ll pay
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Francis Scialabba

· 3 min read

Much as consumers may want to see that “Made in the USA” tag on a t-shirt, inflation can make that tag feel kind of itchy.

  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Americans who have shopped for US-made goods say that inflation has a negative impact on them doing so.
  • Among them more than a quarter (26%) say inflation has a lot of negative impact on their likelihood of buying American-made.

So finds an exclusive poll about buy-American shopping preferences from Retail Brew and The Harris Poll. It was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,986 US adults from July 22–24.

American splendor. As challenging as inflation is, nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents say they seek out American-made products very often or somewhat often.

As for not just seeking out but also intentionally purchasing American-made products, 71% said they did so a lot or a little bit. And many are willing to pay a premium for domestically made goods.

  • Nearly half (48%) say they’d be willing to pay around 10–20% more.
  • 17% say they’d be willing to pay ~30% more for an American-made product over an imported one.

Made in America, the 1993 comedy starring Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson, has a rating of just 31% on Rotten Tomatoes. But when it comes to the impact of labels on domestically made products, the verbiage gets a thumbs up from respondents.

They say they’d be most likely to buy a product labeled “Made in America” (91%), more than “Manufactured in America” (89%), “American-made” (89%), or “Product of the US” (88%).

Reshore thing. Tennessee-based office chair-maker All33 recently moved manufacturing from China to its home state, and that’s the sort of thing that makes more than just chair buyers sit up and notice.

  • Three in four respondents (75%) say it’s very or somewhat important for brands to make its products in the US.
  • About the same portion (74%) say it’s very or somewhat important for brands to be based in the US.

Old money. The prospect of paying a bit more for American-made products goes over easier with people who’ve been socking it away long enough to know what a bank passbook is—especially when compared to more price-conscious Gen Z and millennials.

  • Only 9% of Boomers (and older) strongly agreed with the sentiment that American-made products are too expensive, compared to Gen X (13%), Millennials (23%), and Gen Z (16%).

+1: If consumers want more American-made goods, more Americans are going to need to punch in at factories. Here are three charts about the current state of American manufacturing.–AAN

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