Feature Story

Never before has “Made in the USA” been so relevant to the American consumer. With the economic tide churning all the wrong ways and recalls of tainted goods topping headlines, even casual shoppers are paying attention to where products are made. With many American consumers afraid to put items under the Christmas tree that are produced abroad, retailers must be more aware of products’ origins to remain competitive.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “Made in the USA” means that “all or virtually all” of a given product has been made in America, meaning all significant parts, processing and labor that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. For most products, there is no law that requires manufacturers to make a “Made in the USA” claim, with the exception of automobiles and textile or wool products, which are required to be labeled with the country where they were manufactured.

Consumers Care
According to Gallup Poll data, 72 percent of Americans are paying heightened attention to the country of origin of products they buy, and 65 percent are making an effort to avoid products made in China.

“To certain segments, [buying American] is very important,” says Todd Lipscomb, president and founder of MadeInUSAForever.com, an American-made products site based in San Clemente, Calif. “Those groups are growing in number and intensity as the economy declines.”

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