Made in Britain poll uncovers attitudes to British-made goods

3 mins read

Made in Britain has conducted its third annual ‘Buying British’ survey in partnership with OnePoll.

The research polled 1000 purchasing and procurement decision makers at British companies. In line with last year’s results, the research found: 91% agree it’s important to buy British made products, 82% would pay more for British goods, and 73% say they want the business they work for to buy more British made products than it currently does.

Support for UK plc was more pronounced among London businesses with eight in ten (82%) wanting to purchase more British items that they currently do, and 70% willing to buy British whatever the cost, a 12% uplift on the group average (58%).

The union flag as a motivator to buy British

Currently, 87% of buyers at British companies typically consider where something was made before buying it on behalf of the business they work for (a seven per cent increase from 2020) and rising to 93% for London businesses. And over half (53%) are more likely to buy a product when seeing a British flag on packaging or marketing materials. Again London businesses and London based consumers were the most likely to be swayed with 65% and 63%*1 respectively admitting to be more inclined to purchase an item upon seeing a British flag displayed.

In spite of the strong appetite for British goods demonstrated by consumers and businesses alike, rather disappointingly, just 3% of businesses surveyed said their organisation has a ‘buy British’ procurement policy in place to encourage consideration of buying British-made a priority, where possible. To address the short-fall in businesses buying goods made in Britain, over half (51%) think their company should consider implementing such a policy.

Buying British key to post-Covid recovery

63% of decision makers say that they are more likely to buy British products post-pandemic. And of those who want to buy more British items, 42% said such a move supports British jobs and 39% that it boosts the British economy. However the sentiment was felt more keenly in 2020, with almost three-quarters of businesses more likely to buy British.

With more than a quarter of decision makers saying that quality is their main priority when making a purchase on behalf of their business, 41% say that buying British ensures better quality. 36%*2 also stated they are keen to increase purchases from British manufacturers as they demonstrate higher ethical standards.

Buying British key to supporting sustainable business

As the dust settles on COP 26, sights are set on how environmental and sustainability issues are being addressed. While over 60% agreed they are more aware of the world around them and their future and that the source of products and their carbon footprint is more important than ever, this was a 10 per cent decrease on 2020.

In line with last year’s survey, just under three quarters (73%) of respondents agreed that buying more products made in Britain could help the UK to combat climate change. More than a third (36%) think British made products can be better for the environment and 38%*2 say the fact such goods have travelled less makes them a more sustainable option.

Confusion remains a barrier to buying British

While the number of businesses that would like to increase purchase of British made goods is increasing, 45%*3 report that it is difficult to ascertain which brands are actually made in Britain even if it’s a British registered brand. Over a third*3 say that one of the barriers to buying British is knowing whether a product is or isn’t made in Britain. These statistics echo those of the same survey in 2020 and 2019.

John Pearce, CEO, Made in Britain commented: “It’s clear that buying British products is important to British businesses and their employees, but those making purchasing decisions still don’t feel empowered to make informed choices. Confusion over provenance is still a real issue. Customers are calling out for an easily recognisable and trustworthy mark such as the official ‘Made in Britain’ certification. For manufacturers needing a boost after such times, and to maintain loyalty, showing they are committed to making their goods here in Britain makes great business sense.”

*1Data pulled from a consumer version of the ‘Buying British’ survey. Fieldwork was undertaken online by OnePoll, between 10th and 23rd August 2021. Total sample size was 2000 UK adults (nationally representative).

*2 Percentage of those respondents who would like to buy more British products regardless of the cost (58% of the total sample = 579 respondents).

*3 Percentage of those respondents who would like to buy more British products than they already do (719 respondents).