Products bearing “Made in the USA” labels are capturing the attention of consumers now more than ever, according to industry insiders. The red, white and blue are like beacons calling individuals forth to the retail shelf the product sits upon.
While the label lends itself to many a sense of American pride, the two most defining forces that drive pet owners toward USA-made nonconsumable products are quality and safety concerns, according to insiders. Pet products made abroad are often described as “inferior,” “cheap,” “poor quality” and even “toxic,” by many manufacturers. Consumers must agree, according to pet retailers, who keep a pulse on their “Made in the USA” merchandising displays.
But is this just a trend or will it progressively evolve over time? Here’s what insiders had to say:
How do you think the demand for “Made in the USA” products will evolve over the next several years?
“The market will remain extremely strong. We are predicting double-digit growth, year-on-year for the next five years. The two questions most consumers ask when buying a pet toy are: No. 1 Where is it made? No. 2 How long will it last? We have both 100 percent covered. We are, and always will be, a ‘Made in the USA’ company.”—Jerry Moffett, vice president of sales and marketing at Ruff Dawg in Worcester, Mass.
“I think that the demand for ‘Made in the USA’ products will continue to grow over time. In addition to the concerns about safety and quality, there are increasing geopolitical concerns about China as they continue to assert themselves economically and militarily on the world stage … American consumers are beginning to see China as a bad actor and buying China-made goods supports a political system contrary to American values.”—Adam Baker, founder and president of SodaPup in Boulder, Colo.
“I can only hope that the demand for ‘Made in the USA’ products increases. In order to survive, we need to be ‘Americans in support of America.’”—Janet Reyniers, owner of Python Products Inc., a manufacturer of aquarium products in Milwaukee, Wis.
“That’s difficult to say. We monitor trends and patterns in the economy like everyone else. IHS Markit released numbers that the U.S. manufacturing PMI [purchasing managers index] was below the neutral 50.0 in August of 2019, for the first time in a decade. I think overall, manufacturing companies are feeling the impact of slowing global economic conditions and tightening their belts. We’re waiting to see what the next election will bear. Manufacturing has been good during the current administration, but tariffs in the U.S.-China trade war have taken a big bite from the international sector. Overall, there is staying power in USA-made products. We are known for quality, high regulations for labor laws, and the pet market is continuing to grow.”—Julie Creed, vice president of sales and marketing at Pure and Natural Pet in Norwalk, Conn.
“In regard to non-consumable products, it’s hard to predict because people are so used to these products not being made in the United States, and they enjoy the lower pricing. The majority of my customers don’t even read the label to see where it’s made. It’s up to retailers to make it an important criterion to influence pet owners to care about and choose ‘Made in the USA.’”—Marni Lewis, owner of The Green K9 in Urbana, Md.
To read more about why “Made in the USA” has staying power, check out PPN’s “Why Made in the USA Products Are Here to Stay.”