Boricuas prefer local products

October 31, 2016
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Puerto Rican consumers recognize the quality of local products and are motivated to buy them even though they cost a little more, according to a recent market study.

If you are the owner of a small or medium-size business, you’ll be interested to know that 74% of Puerto Rican consumers are inclined to buy a service or product made in Puerto Rico, even if it is a little more expensive than an import. This is because Boricuas recognize the quality of local products. Additionally, the freshness of local food products has no equal for consumers.

This data is very important to you. The reality is that if you produce locally, the odds that Puerto Ricans will want to buy your products or services will increase. If your business sells products, then you already know that it is critical that your warehouses are full of merchandise produced or packaged on the Island.

Market study and analysis of local production

Recently, the Ipsos firm conducted a market study at the request of the Puerto Rico Products Association (APPR for its Spanish acronym). One of the purposes was to understand the value consumers give to things made here and to see how well known is the “Hecho en Puerto Rico” logo that is used by APPR members.

“The crisis is a great opportunity to increase local production and jobs. We know that consumers, both individuals and corporations, have the power in their hands (to improve the economy). So we wanted to support with numbers the belief that Boricuas prefer items produced on the Island,” said Marilú Otero, executive vice president of the APPR, referring to the study.

The research consisted of four focus groups in the San Juan metropolitan area and a house by house survey of 300 consumers around the Island.

Among the survey’s findings were that 42% of consumers say that products made in Puerto Rico are of good quality and buying them helps keep money on the Island. That latter perception by consumers is correct and has been corroborated in the “Analysis of Local Production and Spending on Products of Puerto Rico” by the firm Advantage Business Consulting, also prepared for the APPR.

“The spending analysis shows that Puerto Ricans, on average, consume $117.42 per day between products and services. Of this amount, $23.40 goes toward imported products. An increase of $1 in daily consumption of local products and services would create 2,300 new jobs and increase local production by $232 million,” Otero said of the Analysis.

An interesting statistic for you, as a business owner, from the “Analysis of Local Production and Spending on Products of Puerto Rico” is that if businesses on the island replaced 5% of imported goods with local products, the impact on the island would be the following:

  • 5,011 new jobs would be created throughout the island
  • Local production would increase by $987.9 million
  • Treasury Department collections would increase by $42.5 million

“The combined forces of the individual consumer and businesses would create more than 7,000 jobs a year and more than $1.4 billion in local production,” Otero noted.

The power of entrepreneurs

What can owners of small and medium-size businesses do to help the island emerge from the crisis? Otero recommends that businesses buy locally, from cleaning products to contracting services of all kinds. She clarified that there are multi-national brands with a presence on the island whose products are 100% local, so supporting them also contributes to the economic development of the island.

Another strategy is to export products to markets in the United States where increasing numbers of Puerto Ricans have emigrated. (Some of these locations include Central Florida, Ohio and New York). According to the Analysis by Advantage Business Consulting, “exports of goods and services have declined as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product. An increase in the presence of products made in Puerto Rico in global markets is crucial for achieving the economic recovery of Puerto Rico.”

Bet on your country. Review your company’s purchases of products and services to contribute to the development of your business and the Island.


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