Which global consumers prefer to buy products from their own countries?
July 14th, 2023, Clifton Mark

Which global consumers prefer to buy products from their own countries?

A recent poll from YouGov Surveys shows that most global consumers prefer to keep business in their home country. Three-fifths (60%) agree with the statement “I am more likely to buy from a company if I know the company is based in my country,” and nearly half (46%) agree with “I think, on the whole, products made in my country are superior to those made abroad.” Further, not only do global consumers favour domestic companies, 53% agree that “It is your patriotic duty to buy products from your own country over those from other countries, where you can.”

While a significant proportion of consumers “neither agree nor disagree” with these statements, very few of them show opposition to any of them. For example, only 9% of global consumers disagree that they are more likely to buy from a company based in their own country, with 31% neither agreeing nor disagreeing. Of the 18 markets surveyed, all are more likely to agree with all three of the home-favouring statements than to disagree. In general, the poll shows a strong global presumption in favour of domestically-made products.

Yet the degree of these sentiments varies a great deal.

APAC markets occupy both the top and the bottom of the scale for favouring their own countries commercially. Australians (74%) and Indians (72%) are more likely than respondents in any other market to favour domestically-made companies. They’re also comparatively more likely to see it as a patriotic duty to do so, and to believe that products from their country are superior.

China matches the global average when it comes to buying locally (60%) and believing in the superiority of domestic products (46%). However, they’re significantly more likely than average (62%) to believe there is a patriotic duty to buy Chinese.

Hong Kong (50%) and Singapore (44%) are the least likely of the markets polled to favour domestically-based companies. They’re also least likely to believe that doing so is a patriotic duty. This may be related to the fact that both markets are trade-based island economies. Indonesia is an interesting example in that itis well above average (67%) in seeing it as a patriotic duty to buy domestically but below average (57%) in saying they actually do so. This makes Indonesia a partial exception to the general trend that these three variables are related. Usually, a greater the sense of patriotic economic duty coincides with a greater the inclination to favour home products and a greater impression of their superiority.

In North America, the US is the least likely to favour companies based in their home country at 57%, compared to 61% of Mexican and 67% of Canadians. US respondents are also the least likely to say that American products are superior to foreign products, at 45%. Canadians (55%) and Mexicans (57%) are also more likely to see it as a duty to buy their country’s products than Americans (47%).

Italy and France are the most likely to favour domestic companies in Europe. Nordic consumers are near the middle of the pack with 62% of Swedes and 60% of Danes saying they’re more likely to buy from domestic companies. Both Nordic markets are less likely than the global average to see buying domestic as a patriotic duty.

Considering their recent exit from the European market, one might expect stronger protectionist sentiment in Great Britain. However, the data does not bear this out. Another island trade-hub, Great Britain is also among the least likely to favour domestic companies of all markets polled. A little over half (54%) say they’re more likely to buy from a British company and less than a third (31%) say that products made in their own country are superior to products made abroad. This is the second lowest of all markets in this metric.

The UAE is above average on all three of these variables, with 66% saying they’re more likely to buy from a company based in that country and 67% believing that it’s their patriotic duty to do so.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 512 and 2,007 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in March 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.