Overseas consumers 64% more willing to pay premium for ‘brand Britain’

It would appear the UK really is “better together” for food and drink marketers after a study found they could be missing out on a premium of up to £2.1bn by not branding their products ‘Made in Britain’ instead of from England, Scotland or Wales.

Union Flag

The report, which was commissioned by Barclays, polled 7,610 consumers online in the US, Germany, France, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, China and Qatar. It revealed consumers in emerging markets are 64 per cent more likely to buy a product carrying the Union flag. This figure dropped to 25 per cent for products sporting the English flag and 21 per cent for those featuring either Scottish or Welsh labels.

The so-called ‘Brand Britain’ label prompts a willingness to pay of up to 7 per cent more among shoppers in new and emerging markets than for those which promote their country of origin. Positive perceptions of the union meant nearly a third of shoppers (31 per cent) have consciously sought out and purchased products from Great Britain compared to just 14 per cent in developed markets.

The exception to the preference for British-branded products was Scottish alcohol, which commanded a premium over British.

Brand owners could generate an additional £2.1bn to their sales by labelling their products as ‘Made in Britain’, according to the report.

The additional average gain per transaction for products marketed as British on-pack was highest for food (£0.46p) and fashion (£1.26) in Qatar, alcohol in the US (£0.42p) and for automotives in South Africa (£1,004).

While the appetite for British brands is strongest in immature markets, the potential premiums are lower. Despite this, emerging markets are growing at a faster rate than established regions paving the way for opportunities around premium pricing.

Rebecca McNeil, head of business Lending at Barclays Corporate Banking, says: “The report shows that the biggest premiums for British branded goods will be paid in these markets, not the developed markets. These new and emerging markets are also growing at a faster rate than the established trading partners, meaning growth opportunities and premium pricing are aligned.

“We understand that these new markets can be more challenging to enter but for those that persevere, there are opportunities for a greater return. Rather than focusing on seemingly saturated developed markets, exporters should seriously consider looking further afield as there are bigger premiums to be had when products are marketed as Made in Britain.”

The findings come as the MPs debate proposals to allow English, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs to vote alone on policies only impacting their voters in the wake of fresh devolution pledges to Scotland’s following its vote against independence.  More than a fifth of Britons are concerned that the ensuing debate could have a negative impact on Brand Britain, according to a ICM study.

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