Consumers around the world are displaying a growing preference for global brands rather than locally manufactured products, according to a new study by performance management company Nielsen.
The annual Nielsen Global Brand-Origin Report highlights consumers’ preference for and sentiment toward products manufactured by local manufacturers versus large global/multinational brands across 34 categories. While the survey findings have pointed to a relatively balanced view across global and local brands in recent years, the latest results show consumer preference is tipping toward global brands across the majority of categories.
Preference for global brands was strongest in the baby food/formula and baby wipes/diapers categories, where 93% and 92% of Singapore consumers, respectively, said they preferred to buy brands from global manufacturers. Other categories where Singapore consumers showed low preference for local brands included alcohol – beer/wine (89% preferred global), vitamins/supplements (88%), feminine care products (86%), and energy drinks/sports drinks (85%).
Conversely, categories where consumers in Singapore were more inclined to opt for a locally manufactured product over a global brand included biscuits/chips/snacks/cookies (42%), dairy products (36%), instant noodles (33%) breakfast cereals (29%).
At a regional level, market nuances were evident, with consumer preference for global versus local brands varying widely within a number of categories.
In the biscuits/chips/snacks/cookies category, consumer preference for local brands was prevalent in Southeast Asia (50%), Africa and the Middle East (41%) and Latin America (41%) compared to 32% globally. In Europe, consumers were much more likely to opt for local alcohol brands compared to the global average (22% vs. 16%), while Southeast Asian consumers showed stronger affinity for local instant noodle brands compared to the global average (39% vs. 21%).
“The variation across regions illustrates the relative strength of local manufacturers within specific categories, particularly where they are appealing to local consumers’ tastes,” emphasizes Leggett. “In Southeast Asia, for example, where noodles are a staple in consumers’ diets, local manufacturers have been able to maintain a stronghold on the category. Similarly in European markets locally sourced dairy products are perceived to be of a higher quality than imported products.”
Leggett concluded: “In an increasingly global world, the battle of the brands comes down to understand consumers’ evolving needs, behaviors, lifestyles and tastes. Any brand, be it local or global, that is able to tap into these consumer preferences will be best-placed to win the hearts and minds of consumers in the future.”
For more insights, download the “Made in Matters”…Or Does It? report.