American Chauvinsim in Consumer Behavior

In this 1997 article titled Patriot Games: Consumer Preferences for National Products, we reviewed the survey data for the statement: "I prefer to buy products manufactured in my own country" from the Los Medios y Mercados de Latinoamérica study

Ten years later, we share the data from the 2005 Compose study, in which there is the statement: "I prefer to buy products that are made in America."  The Compose study happens to be a survey of 2,295 adults conducted during 2005 in the United States of America.  So this is a comparable question, although the timing is shifted by ten years.  We recognize that a great deal has changed during those ten years to the brand known as America, inside and outside of that country.

Here are the main results:

(Source: Compose 2005)

On one hand, this type of sentiment is more common among men, older people, less educated, less affluent and white/native Americans.  On the other had, this type of sentiment is less common among women, younger people, more ecuated, more affluent and racial/ethnic minorities.

Does this make a real difference in practice?

That will have to depend what the product category is.  Overall, 34% of all adults "strongly agree" with the statement: "I prefer to buy American products."  But when it comes to people who have been buying wine and spirits, the number drops to 29%.  Thus the market for foreign wines and spirits is not affected by chauvinism (or patriotism). 

(posted by Roland Soong, 3/05/2006)

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