Origin as important as price for shoppers

The country of origin of food brands is just as important to the majority of British shoppers as price, function and quality, new research has found.

Out of 40 product categories surveyed by Nielsen, food and drink was by far and away the category where local brands were of greatest importance to consumers, with milk, meat and vegetables scoring highest for local preference.

Conversely, categories such as electronics identified a strong preference among shoppers for global brands.

“There are three distinct product classes when it comes to global-versus-local preference,” said Nielsen UK innovation leader Ben Schubert. “A strong global preference for electronics products, likely driven by a sense of quality; a local preference for food, driven by freshness and safety perceptions; and relative indifference for fashion, clothing and cleaning. In a crowded retail environment, it’s important that marketers understand how big a role brand origin plays in consumer decision-making and adapt their messaging appropriately.”

Across all product categories, almost six-in-ten British consumers surveyed by Nielsen said that where the brand comes from is at least as important as the product’s benefits. A similar proportion said origin is at least as important as price, with 53% saying it was at least as important as quality.

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