Consumers urged to buy Irish

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Consumers are being encouraged to buy more Irish goods in order to boost employment prospects here.

New research carried out by Amárach Research suggests that if consumers were to spend as little as €4 extra a week on Irish-produced goods then over 6,000 new jobs could be created.

According to the research, households typically spend on average just under €16 a week on Guaranteed Irish products and services.

Guaranteed Irish is a not-for-profit body that promotes the sale of Irish goods. Its members come from a large number of sectors including construction, manufacturing, retail and recruitment.

The estimated annual turnover of Guaranteed Irish companies is €1.2 billion, with 23,700 employees, equalling €52,000 turnover per employee.

“If Irish households simply increased their spending on Guaranteed Irish products to €20 per week, that would create an extra 6,200 jobs based on the turnover per job for existing Guaranteed Irish members”, said Tom Rea, executive director of the organisation.

“This figures show just how important it is that we support Guaranteed Irish services and products as much as possible during these tough economic times

The Amárach Research on attitudes to Guaranteed Irish show that as many as 83 per cent of consumers believe it is more important today to buy locally produced goods and services than it was five years ago

Almost two-thirds of respondents surveyed said buying Guaranteed Irish helps them feel they are supporting Ireland, and the Irish, in some way. In addition, 41 per cent of the 1,000 people surveyed said they buy Irish goods and services as often as they can.

Young people in particular were found to be very supportive of buying Irish goods for economic reasons, with 35 per cent of 16-24 years olds doing so because it helps the economy. This compares to just 18 per cent of those aged over 55.

Forty-one per cent of consumers surveyed were aware of the Guaranteed Irish branding while 21 per cent said the logo provided peace of mind about where a produce was manufactured.

As many as 86 per cent of consumers said companies should highlight the fact that their products or services are Irish.

Just over three-quarters of the Irish public consciously try to buy Irish products or services ’some of the time’ or ‘as often as I can’. Likelihood to purchase ‘as often as I can’ increases with age, and is higher among women and those who have children, the research found.

Given two similar products, four out of five consumers are likely to purchase a product with the Guaranteed Irish symbol rather than one that does not carry it

The study also found that those with children are more likely to buy Irish.

Membership of Guaranteed Irish has risen by 40 per cent over the past year, the organisation said.

"Guaranteed Irish would encourage all consumers to do what they can to contribute to the welfare of local enterprises by making deliberate choices to buy Guaranteed Irish goods and services, said Mr Rea.

“Guaranteed Irish is one of the most powerful and respected brands in the market, it is very much the tipping point for consumers who wish to support Irish products and services. The Guaranteed Irish symbol not only identifies the products that are manufactured in this country, but it also differentiates products from competing imported products,” he added.

Minister for Enterprise and Jobs Richard Bruton is to formally launch the Guaranteed Irish research in Dublin this afternoon.

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