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What do shoppers really think about buying British-made products?

Our survey reveals that Brits associate British-made products with quality and value.

Make it British recently carried out a survey to find out what shoppers really thought about products that were promoted as made in Britain. Were they more likely to buy them? And if so, what were their reasons for doing so? Some very interesting insights were gained into what the British public really think about buying British-made products. Read on to find out more…


Infographic: What do shoppers really think about buying British-made products?

Our research, carried out in conjunction with survey software Usurv, and distributed online to 250 UK based consumers, found that whilst many shoppers tended to perceive a product made in Britain as better quality and worth paying more for, this varied greatly according to their age and income group.

“If I know that a product is made in Britain I would consider paying more for it”

Nearly half of those questioned said yes, I would consider paying more for British-made products, whilst only 1 in 5 said that they definitely would not. But whether they thought it was worth investing the extra cash in order to buy British was directly related to age – the older the respondent, the more likely they would invest the extra cash, with 65% of over 60s agreeing  to the above statement, compared to only 23% of those the under 30. Interestingly, men were twice as likely as women to say that UK-made was good value.

“If I know that a product is made in Britain I would believe it to be better quality”

When it comes down to the quality of British-made products, shoppers feel pretty strongly. Whilst over 60% of those surveyed said that knowing that something was manufactured in Britain made them assume that it was well-made, 30% felt quite sure that this was not the case. Maybe some bad experiences of inferior British quality in the past has led to this assumption?

“If a website promotes its products as made in Britain I have more confidence in buying from them”

When it comes down to building trust, knowing that a retailer is selling goods made in the UK is still one of the main things that a website can do to give shoppers confidence in buying from them. Over 60% agreed that if an online store promoted its products as British-made it would give them greater trust in the site. And when it comes to who is most easily influenced by a made in Britain marque, it’s the higher earners that give it the most precedence.

We are happy for you to quote this research on your website or in your publication. Contact Kate at Make it British from more information.



  1. Sue Rigby on July 2, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Very interesting survey and useful to know. One extra question is whether shoppers would be willing to pay extra for a British Made product against a very similar product made outside the UK. We import upholstery material from Europe and shoppers seem happy with that market and tell them so, all other parts are made and crafted in this country.

  2. ian rogers on July 2, 2013 at 11:12 am

    the thing is..when supermarkets and deisgners stopped making products in the UK..they sourced from Asia and still charged the same prices as if made in UK..Even though Asia costs about 1/5 of the manufacture costs..A typical tshirt might cost £3 to make in Asia and they sell from £25 to £40.

    • Adrian on July 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      I agree with Ian, it’s what’s known as greed. This is why we’re in the state we are. I would rather buy a product made here versus one made in the far east etc even though the product may be of similar quality. It’s all about pride, unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much of it left in this country, unless we talk about football when everyone gets all teary eyed, how sad.

      • Veganline.com John Robertson on July 13, 2013 at 6:01 pm

        If someone could help charity shops display their stuff on the net, we could have the best of all worlds – cheap clothing that’s easy to choose, and helps our money circulate in the UK. Quite a job though. How do you make a machine by which a charity shop manager or volunteer can photo size and advertise a T shirt without spending more than about 10p of time?

        • Richard dover on December 29, 2020 at 12:17 pm

          The whole point of buying British,as pointed out by many people,is to lower carbon footprint etc.
          My problem is looking for UK labels,which are often hidden (not so meat products).?
          I hope that out of ‘dictatorship ‘we can start label things correctly and not allow manufacturers to’ hide’ where it is produced/sourced.
          I,myself think that a lot of British products are made skewers and you only get a phone no.
          To check.

  3. Sarah Gamble on July 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    As a small independent business in the UK, these statistics provide both good and bad figures for me. I run an upcycling business, taking second hand and vintage garments, mainly denim, and customising them to turn them into wearable art. To hear that most people associate ‘Made in Britain’ with quality is comforting, but not the statistic about older people being more prepared than younger ones.

    Perhaps the type of product would influence whether they would pay more for british made or not. For example, I imagine younger people pay more for a customised, british made piece of clothing – the older consumer simply wouldn’t actually be interested in my products.

    Finally, the graphic representation of the figures states only 16% of under 30s would buy british made, whilst the text reads 23%… which of those figures is correct?

  4. Veganline.com John Robertson on July 13, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    There’s a lot of work to do – maybe by the department for business – in selling the ethical advantages of a product made in a democratic welfare state, paying tax towards our pensions and circulating money. Much as I wish Bangladesh had some kind fo national insurance scheme, it doesn’t, and I think that marks Bangladeshi products down on my list of countries I feel good about buying from.

    Unfortunately, government isn’t clarifying issues of why people want to buy goods from a welfare state or not. They are doing the opposite. A scheme at http://sustainable-fashion.com/ to train the fashion industry talks about “sustainablity” with a the word “ethical” thrown-in, but says top-secret-nothing about whether the UK has better conditions than Bangladesh in terms of schools and hospitals and all the things that taxes on our products pay for. It’s unfair. It’s wrong. And we are paying for it – see their list of funders:

    John Robertson
    Veganline.com for vegan shoes online – mainly made in the UK

  5. John Hines on July 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I try to buy only “British Made” goods I am not always able to do so but the harder you try it gets easier, its all in reading labels and asking questions Take for instance Cadburys more and more of their products are been made in Poland under the guise made in “EU” an example is “Fry’s Turkish
    Delight once made in Bristol , Kraft closed the factory and moved it to Poland , net result lose of two
    hundred jobs in Britain . We must stop this people be educated in what is a British product and What is

  6. BG on December 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I will always buy British made goods over Asian products, where you can find them, fortunately there seem to be more on the market, they must be clearly marked as such, with a proper logo.
    We all know you get what you pay for but it’s false economy to buy Asian products, they are cheap but they are mainly rubbish and don’t last long, so BUY British where you can.
    And keep going Buy British.
    Happy New Year.

  7. “Buy great, buy British” says Atkinson & Kirby on November 22, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    […] recognised that people prefer purchasing British made products to imports. In fact, according to recent statistics 43 percent of UK adults said they would pay more money for a product that was manufactured in […]

  8. Lloyd on May 11, 2018 at 11:05 am

    My question would be, UK doesn’t produce much fabric anymore and most of the business still need to import material from other countries. The Labor cost here is maybe 3 times higher but what % more the consumers willing to pay? with the same design/quality will consumers willing to pay two or three times more to cover the difference?

  9. […] customers think when they hear ‘Made In Britain’ or ‘Made in the UK’. Well here’s a survey from Make It British that might give you some […]

  10. Stuart on January 6, 2022 at 9:59 am

    Labelling that states the country of origin would be the first step. Big business does not want this as it makes price manipulation obvious.
    Personally, I combine charity shops with British made to keep costs down.

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