Retail in Asia

In Markets

Survey: HK consumers downplay support for local brands and ignore product labels

Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand Survey 2012 reveals that consumers in Hong Kong prefer international brands to home-grown brands: Despite 72 percent agreeing that consuming local brands contributes to the growth of local economy, only 22 percent indicated likelihood to purchase a local brand. The proportion of local brand support in Hong Kong is lowest amongst 8 Asian regions surveyed.

The Survey, in its 14th consecutive year, is one of the most representative and transparent consumer surveys in Asia. Conducted by top custom research firm Ipsos, the Survey was carried out in October 2011 in eight Asian regions – mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, India, the Philippines and Malaysia. Eight thousand respondents were interviewed by questionnaires and phone, in which 1,000 were from Hong Kong.

The Survey uncovers that although 72 percent of respondents in Hong Kong agree that consuming local brands contributes to the growth of local economy, only 22 percent are likely to purchase a local brand over an international brand, 25 percent lower than Asia average and the lowest amongst eight surveyed regions. Bottom three of the chart together with Hong Kong are Singapore and mainland China, where only 27 percent and 32 percent of respondents prefer a local brand. In contrast, Thailand ranks highest with 73 percent of respondents likely to support a local brand.

The survey also shows that compared to the other seven surveyed regions, consumers in Hong Kong are relatively less attentive to product labels. When asked whether they would read information on product labels before purchase, the percentage of local consumers reading product labels to examine product ingredients, nutrition and manufacturer information are lower than the average in Asia. In addition, only 61 percent of local consumers will read product labels for information about product ingredients, once again the lowest among all surveyed regions.

Survey highlights

There are 43 categories in Hong Kong’s Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands Survey 2012, in which four of them are new categories: Provident Fund (MPF), Smartphone, English Learning Centre and Property Management Company.

There are a total of 85 winners in the Survey this year. The awards are given to 80 brands, 48 of which are international brands and 32 (40 percent) are local brands.

Seventy two percent respondents in Hong Kong agree that consuming local brands contributes to the growth of local economy, but only 22 percent are likely to purchase a local brand over an international brand.

With regards to product label, only 61 percent of Hong Kong respondents read product labels to examine product ingredients. The percentage is lowest among all surveyed regions. Sixty eight percent and 58 percent of Hong Kong respondents will read product label for nutritional and manufacturer information respectively; the percentages are also lower than Asia average.

Only 47 percent of Hong Kong respondents are likely to purchase an eco-friendly product or service – this percentage is lowest amongst eight surveyed regions. Eighty percent of Hong Kong consumers consider minimal packaging is an important factor when considering an eco-friendly product. Comparatively Hong Kong respondents put less focus on the source of ingredients (58 percent).