UK businesses more likely to buy British than from abroad

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Made in Britain research of 1,000 purchasing and procurement decision makers at British businesses found that almost two-thirds are willing to buy British-made products whatever the cost.

This compared to 40 per cent in a survey of 2,000 UK consumers. More than half of businesses believe their purchasing policies can make a positive difference to the British economy, and 47 per cent say British-made products are better quality than imported alternatives.

Seven in 10 businesses say that buying more products made in Britain could help the nation combat climate change. Post-Brexit, 46 per cent of businesses plan to buy more British products – compared to 36 per cent of consumers. It also emerged that nearly two-thirds of businesses, polled via OnePoll, would be more loyal to a brand if it was made in Britain.

Product provenance is a key factor in business purchase decision making, with 81 per cent of companies considering where something is made before buying it compared to 70 per cent in the consumer population. John Pearce, CEO of Made in Britain, which provides the official accreditation of goods manufactured in Britain and commissioned the studies, said: “Our research shows that Britain’s business community is standing firmly behind British manufacturing. This is not out of blind patriotism but because they recognise the quality and sustainability of its output, and its positive impact on UK plc.

“We found that businesses are much more attuned to the issues of provenance than the consumer on the high street, with companies being more than twice as likely to consider it than the average shopper.

“Brexit will be a challenging time for manufacturers but with nearly half of businesses we spoke to planning to buy more British-made products after we leave the EU, coupled with the high esteem British manufacturing is held in by the nation’s private sector, the industry has lots to be encouraged by heading into 2020.”

The study also found that nearly three in four businesses would like to buy more British made products than they currently do, but over a third struggle to because they don’t when a product is or isn’t British-made. And two-fifths may know which brands were founded on British soil but aren’t sure if the products themselves are made in the same place of origin.

Pearce continued: “While the will is there, sometimes businesses struggle to buy British and at the heart of this is a confusion around origin. There are brands that may have a British heritage but have offshored their manufacturing. Or, companies headquartered overseas that produce their goods in Britain. This is why our mark exists, so that those making purchasing decisions, whether that’s in a business-to-business environment or in the supermarket, can see a clear ‘stamp of approval’ for quality, British-made products.”

The findings of the survey are contained within a new report published by Made in Britain. The Buying British report, which also includes the result of a separate study of British consumers, is available to download here.