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Consumer Reports for Made in America or Consumer Reports for Buying Local
Anthony Comito
Manchester, New Hampshire
United States
1 Team Member

Short Summary

Consumers are actively searching for:

  • 'Made in America’ products
  • 'local’ products
  • other 'positive impact' products

*Google searches for 'Made in America' and 'Buy Local' are up 5,000%+ (Google Trends, 2013)

The Problem?

  • "Made in America" and "Local" marketing campaigns and their claims are not verified and not quantified.
  • This type of "purpose-marketing" is growing exponentially.
  • Consumers are increasingly surrounded by vague claims, with no way to identify, confirm, or compare in a timely manner.

The Solution?

What is an Economic Impact Rating?

  • A rating, on a 5-star scale, indicating the economic impact of a product’s purchase to a given area.

  • Rating is put on a product’s packaging, signage or advertising (via our certification mark)

  • Rating based mostly on the portion of the purchase price being captured by a given area

    • e.g., American Economic Impact Rating tells you how much is captured in America’s economy. New York City Economic Impact Rating Tells you how much is captured in the NYC metro area.

We believe the best way to boost the American Economy is to give consumers the information they need to boost the American Economy.

Our patent-pending method breaks down a product using accounting and economics to determine how much of the purchase price-- how much of the money you're handing over-- is actually being captured in the American economy. That way, the consumer gets the information in the store aisle, or on amazon.com , and can work it into their buying criteria. 

Not only do consumers care, but companies are listening. Ralph Lauren recently promoted their new 'made in america' line for the Olympics (after their last Olympic debacle), we're seeing other big names jump into the mix as well. Walmart dedicated $50B to buying 'made in america' goods over the next decade. Google and Apple are both touting products made or assembled in the United States. Martha Stewart has created a webpage to promote 'American Made'. 

With ever increasing usage of such claims, eventually you have to ask, "Just how made in America is it?"

What We Need:

We need $50k- $100k to help start branding and marketing the Economic Impact Rating across the United States.

Whats Wrong with Current "Made in America" and "Local" Claims?

'Made in America' marketing is, effectively, unregulated. The Federal Trade Commission (the federal body charged with overseeing marketing claims ) does not "certify" American Made products. Rather, they prosecute products only after they receive a complaint. The FTC has only prosecuted a handful of companies since the 1970's. 

Several sources, including Consumer Reports, doing research on “made in the USA” labeling and advertising, has found labeling practices are often deceptive, if not false. They concluded that their "evidence shows that if not misled, consumers are at least confused”. Obviously, something is missing here.

There is more. Not only are companies allowed to place 'Made in America' on their packaging without any verification, but the definition the FTC uses is vague and misleading. The FTC defines 'country of origin' as the place of "final transformation". That is, the country where the product's final transformation took place--- which by no means indicates how little, or how much, of the money leaving your hands is actually captured in America's economy.

One analogy would be if you were to bake a cake. You imported the flour from Canada; the eggs from Mexico; and the frosting from China. Then you bake the cake here in America. Technically, the final transformation occurred here in America. You just created a 'Made in America' cake. Even though a majority of the money consumers will pay is going to pay suppliers in foreign countries, who will pay their foreign workers, who will spend their foreign wages in a foreign economy-- effectively "leaking" economic growth to other parts of the world. 

Similarly, a product using numerous American parts, but of which's final assembly is in Mexico, is labeled as a product of Mexico-- even though the product employs numerous American factories, workers, and economic growth inside the United States.

In terms of local, there are several issues with companies are actively trying to, in some way, deceive consumers. Companies moving their food product from squirt bottle to glass jar in hopes of seeming more 'local' and wholesome.

As you can see, 'Made in America'  and "local" claims do not go far enough in telling you about the economic impact of your purchase decision.

More About the Business Model

We use information typically not available to the public to determine a product's economic impact to an area-- making us the most accurate analysis of this kind available to consumers today. We look at individual products and not companies as a whole. Looking at products individually is important. As supply chains and companies become more and more complex-- company wide ratings become less and less useful.

For instance, Hershey chocolate has factories in America, but also factories in Mexico. A company-wide rating may leave consumers unknowingly supporting a product line that supports jobs and economic growth in Mexico, rather than channeling their spending to the 'American Made' product line.

As for competitive advantages, we currently have a patent-pending which looks to be solidifying in the next 6-12 months. This will give us the insulation we need to build the brand recognition that we need.

We hope that, just as how when Consumer Reports released product quality information into the marketplace, companies became more competitive on quality, we hope communicating information on the economic impacts of products will cause companies to compete more on their economic impact to America, it's economy, and it's citizens.

Help us kickstart our company, so we can kickstart America's economy.

Risks and challenges

Our rating process is detailed. The information used is typically not open to the public. As such, we must work closely with manufacturers and companies to complete the analysis. The upside? Our rating is more detailed than anything to date-- especially more detailed than vague 'made in america' marketing ploys and empty corporate press releases. The downside? We need to convince companies that you-- the consumer-- care.

Convincing companies that you care to know their product's Economic Impact Ratings is the #1 goal of the funds we're looking to raise. One way to do this is by you guys donating to our kickstarter-- this gives companies a very good indication that people care about this information. The other way to achieve this goal- and the main objective of this fundraising-- is to put together a marketing campaign to introduce and educate as many American consumers as possible about the Economic Impact Rating.

We've found time and time again that the people we reach love the idea. We just need to reach more of them, and do it faster. The above video can give you an indication of the marketing angle we'll be taking.

Consumers can change the way the world works, and change our economy. They just need accurate and efficient information delivered in a easy-to-use way. This allows you-- the consumer-- the ability to harness the most important vote you have--- the one you make with your dollars.

Other Ways You Can Help

Can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help:

  • Get the word out and make some noise!
  • Use the Indiegogo share tools!
  • Facebook it!
  • Tweet something!

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This campaign ended on December 18, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $20USD

    Annual Magazine Containing the Year's Ratings Estimated delivery: Dec 2014 Ships within the US only

    1 out of 5000 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
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