Global brands winning with consumers: Nielsen

New research finds that other than a few sectors, consumers prefer big companies rather than local players.

Global brands winning with consumers: Nielsen

Amidst all the talk of the threat to global brands from local or regional competitors, a new report from Nielsen suggests the big players are back in the ascendancy with consumers.

According to Nielsen’s Global Brand-Origin report, more than 31,000 surveyed consumers from 63 countries demonstrated their overall preference for global brands across 34 categories. The highest performers are baby food/formula and baby wipes/diapers, where just 10% and 7%, respectively, said they prefer local brands.

Global brands also dominated in vitamins/supplements, feminine care, sports drinks, canned foods and pet food, where 15% or fewer of those surveyed said they would take local brands.

"In today’s world of hyper-connectivity and globalization, consumers have a wider array of product choices than ever before," said Regan Leggett, Nielsen head of foresight and thought leadership for growth markets. "Importantly, consumers also have greater access to global brands than they have in the past, thanks to factors such as expanding distribution, ecommerce offerings, and modern trade retail channels. As a result, we’re seeing a swing in preference toward the big multinationals."

Certain sectors did see decent local brand performance. For Southeast Asia, the report found a strong preference, 50%, for local snack brands, against the global average of 32%. Similarly, local instant-noodle companies in the region won out against global brands 39% versus 21%.

Leggett said this highlights how local brands in these sectors are being successful at appealing to local consumer tastes.

"In an increasingly global world, the battle of the brands comes down to understanding consumers’ evolving needs, behaviors, lifestyles and tastes," Leggett added. "Any brand, be it local or global, that is able to tap into these consumer preferences will be best-placed to win the hearts and minds of consumers in the future."

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