Monday, December 17, 2007

From Green to Red White and Blue

I was struck by a story this past weekend in the online version of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette announcing that the last Santa suit manufacturer in that area was going out of business. As a matter of fact, the company was one of the last sectors of the apparel industry left in the United States. While one of the hottest trends in the meetings business, and for that matter any industry, is going green, the environmental-friendly movement may soon take a back seat to the colors red, white and blue.

The cover story in this month's Marketing News, the official publication of the American Marketing Association, talks about how consumers are alarmed about the products they are purchasing given all the product recalls and safety concerns (i.e., lead paint in toys made in China). The story goes on to say they want to buy products they can rely on, and prefer them to be made closer to home. A late-summer Gallup survey found that 72 percent of Americans say they now pay more attention to which country produces the products they buy.

While a few American-made dominant companies are sited in the story (Little Tikes and American Joe Apparel), the author says those groups are in the minority. China is now our second largest trade partner, closing in on Mexico. So, companies and organizations which want to be on the leading edge of meeting a growing consumer need should pay heed.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Pat - This is interesting. I think we're already starting to see a movement where grocers are starting to buy local as much as possible.

It plays to the product quality issue, albeit unrelated to the toy scares. It plays into green as it reduces carbon expenditures if deliveries are close to home. And of course it improves their standing in the community.

I agree with you that we will start to see more of this.