Singapore consumers prefer mostly global brands over local products: Poll

Of the 501 Singapore respondents polled, Nielsen found a noted preference for global brands.
Of the 501 Singapore respondents polled, Nielsen found a noted preference for global brands. PHOTO: ST FILE

Global brands are trumping local ones among consumers here, especially when it comes to products for babies, says a new survey.

It found that about 92 per cent of the 501 Singaporeans polled preferred international brands for items in the baby food, wipes and diapers area.

It was much the same for products like beer and wine - with 89 per cent of Singapore consumers surveyed plumping for global tipples.

Global brands of vitamins/supplements, feminine care products and energy and sports drinks were also preferred by more than 80 per cent of people polled here by market researcher Nielsen.

The findings do not come as a surprise as economies are more interconnected and consumers are more exposed to foreign brands, giving them a wealth of choices, it said.

"Importantly, consumers also have greater access to global brands than they had in the past, thanks to factors such as expanding distribution, e-commerce offerings and modern trade retail channels," noted Mr Regan Leggett, Nielsen's head of foresight and thought leadership in growth markets.

However, the findings also show that when it comes to certain food categories, Singapore consumers still preferred familiar local options.

Just 42 per cent would opt for global brands when it comes to biscuits, chips and snacks while only 36 per cent want foreign dairy products and 33 per cent would pick foreign instant noodles. In fact, South-east Asian consumers are very loyal to their local instant noodle brands compared with the global average.

Nielsen, which polled more than 31,500 online respondents in 63 countries, said the findings suggest consumers are tipping towards global brands across most categories but that does not spell doom and gloom for locally produced products.

"In an increasingly global world, the battle of the brands comes down to understanding consumers' evolving needs, behaviours, lifestyles and tastes," said Mr Leggett. "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."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore consumers prefer mostly global brands over local products: Poll'. Print Edition | Subscribe