Three-quarters of UK firms to buy British post-pandemic

Three-quarters (74%) of British firms are more likely to buy British goods to boost the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey.

The survey, conducted by Made in Britain, found that businesses were willing to pay a premium for British goods, with 86% saying they were happy to pay more, up 5% on last year.

Almost two-thirds (64%) said they would be willing to buy British whatever the cost.

Made in Britain, which represents almost 1,300 UK manufacturing companies, surveyed 1,000 purchasing and procurement decision makers at British firms.

According to the survey, businesses have also paid more attention to the positive contribution of their purchasing decisions on the environment and towards UK plc as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The survey found that 77% of businesses believed buying British could help tackle climate change, up 7% from 2019. 

The impact on the environment was now a main priority for 16% of businesses when making a purchase decision, compared to 5% in 2019, the research found.

Two-thirds (66%) of consumers said they were more likely to buy British products to boost the economy post pandemic, this compared to three-quarters (74%) of businesses. 

Support for UK plc was even more pronounced among London-based businesses, with eight in ten (81%) more likely to buy British, the survey found.

Almost eight in ten (78%) businesses said they would like to buy more British products than they already do, a 6% increase from 2019. 

The survey found however that this latent demand was often unfulfilled because it was unclear to business buyers whether a product was made in Britain or overseas. 

Almost four in ten (38%) can’t tell when a product is British made, while 35% said they may know a brand was founded in Britain but were unsure if its products were made there, and 30% said they would not know where to go to buy them.

The survey results come just as the UK officially enters a recession for the first time in 11 years, with the economy shrinking 20.4% between April and June, compared with the first three months of the year.

John Pearce, chief executive of Made in Britain, said he was proud to see British businesses coming together in a time of adversity. 

“Indeed, a number of our own members have pivoted or diversified product lines to support coronavirus efforts,” he said.

“It is more important than ever that manufacturers maximise the strong appetite for products made on British soil by making it as easy as possible for both consumers and businesses to buy British.”