Do American citizens care where their products come from? Well, it depends on who you ask.
Over the past few decades, the importance of “Made in America” - labels on products indicating production was done in the U.S. - has ebbed and flowed.
As China has grown into the United States’ economic rival and geopolitical adversary, the distinction between American-made and Chinese-made has resurfaced, even as some products have been mislabeled or locally produced but Chinese-owned.
How do people currently feel? This chart, via Visual Capitalist's Avery Koop, uses survey responses from May 2023 out of Morning Consult, in which a representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults were questioned on whether they had favorable views of products from U.S. companies using American or Chinese labor and parts.
Who Prefers American-Made?
According to the report, companies that choose to move production state-side will experience reputational gains with American consumers.
In fact, around two-thirds of survey respondents said they regularly sought out products that were “Made in America” during the last year. But there were slight divides in gender (men favored American-made products more) and noticeable divides in generational responses.
Here’s a look at the data on how different demographic groups valued national goods:
On the political spectrum, both Democrats and Republicans had the exact same share of respondents who favor American-made products at 76%. Comparatively, only 57% of independents favored American-made products, though they also responded least favorably to Chinese-made products at 22%.
One other interesting point to come out of the survey: close to 50% of consumers said they would actually be willing to pay more for American-made products.
The American Goods Market
Looking at responses from U.S. adults overall, large shares of consumers are leaning towards domestic-made goods. Here are some additional insights worth considering:
65% of U.S. adult consumers claimed to sometimes or always buy “Made in America” products intentionally
43% prioritize purchasing American-made products rather than prioritizing other options like quality, sustainability, or affordability
48% are willing to pay higher amounts for U.S.-based products. 39% responded they would pay between 6%-10% more for said products
Overall, it appears that “in-house” goods are more desirable to Americans in the current environment. This also explains why regionalization is becoming more important for companies, whether in terms of reshoring (or onshoring) production back to America, or “nearshoring” to Mexico and closer neighbors.