Statistics show that while people embrace the benefits of globalization, they also want to preserve their identities and traditions. The world may be flatter, but that does not mean globalization is making everyone the same. Local traditions are becoming more important, not less.
In Western countries, the wheel really has come full circle. In the 1960s and 1970s, many consumers abandoned local markets and independent traders to shop in supermarkets where there was a lot more choice and everything had fancy packaging. At the higher-income bracket, that trend is now reversing. Consumers are flocking to re-branded “farmers’ markets.”
They revert to their previous choices because they believe the products are fresher and they are helping the environment by buying products grown locally. But there is also a financial motivation, too. Consumers want their money to end up in local farmers’ pockets and not those of the supermarket giants they believe are trying to wring every last ounce of profit from their supply chains.
A similar motivation for this return to re-branded “farmers’ markets” is the desire for healthier products with more natural ingredients. The food at box brand supermarket giants is often pumped full of chemicals and unnatural preservatives to extend the shelf life of the food products. THP, in competing with these retail giants and simultaneously acknowledging this consumer shift, has chosen to produce products from locally-sourced natural ingredients, including green tea leaves and herbs like monk fruit, chrysanthemum flowers, honeysuckles, licorice, and more.
The same cycle can be seen in developing countries. There tends to be a stage in a country’s early development when consumers are overawed by foreign brands. They want to display their new wealth by demonstrating they have the ability to buy expensive foreign goods; it sets them apart from other citizens who have not yet reached that income level.
China was a great example of this during the first decade of the twenty-first century with its lines of eager shoppers hoping to buy the latest Gucci handbag or Apple iPhone. But China started to enter a new stage of development around the mid-2010s. This was the point when homegrown companies had moved far enough up the value chain to produce well-known brands of their own. As a result, Chinese customers have started trusting their own brands and have become clearly proud of them. They are just as likely to buy a Huawei or Oppo smartphone as an Apple one.
This has been THP’s experience in the beverage market, as we have successfully competed against the largest global companies in our industry – only to continue expanding our reach internationally. Customers want the best, and when the best is also locally sourced, they will pick you. As you seek to grow, expand, and enter new markets, remember the communities that influence and support your business. Focusing on those local ties will help you make strategically smart decisions as it relates to the products you provide, how you price them, how/where people can access them, and how you effectively market them. Click here to learn more about our products.