Other Lessons in This Course
- The Truth About Made in the USA Products
- How to Make Homemade Stress Balls
- Top 10 Advertising Jingles of All Time
- The 10 Best Slogans of All Time!
- History of TV Ads
- What are the Different Versions of USB
- Types of USB Flash Memory
- How to Motivate and Retain Your Employees
- Different Types of Portable Chargers
- What is Branding and Why is It Important?
- The Truth About Made in the USA Products
- Are Water Bottles Bad for the Environment?
- How to Recycle Pens and Pencils
- Trade Show Etiquette for Presenters & Attendees
- How to Make Your Own Tote Bag
- How Cell Phones Affect Business & Advertising
Do you want your products as American as apple pie and a good old-fashioned game of baseball? There are many items you can buy that have the “Made in the USA” label. Still, it’s not as cut and dry as you might think. Some items receive the label but still have imported parts, while others are 100% made in the country.
What qualifies as Made in the USA? Where can you find these items? Time to learn something new about the red, white, and blue as we dive into the full scope of American-made products.
Popular Products Made in the United States
Next time you shop, be sure to check out some of these recognizable brands! They are all proudly made in the USA and are well-loved by American consumers.
- Harley Davidson
- PostIt Notes
- Weber Grills
- Igloo Coolers
- New Balance
- Martin Guitar
This brand of crayons, markers, and colored pencils has been coloring our world since 1903. Two cousins started the company in Peekskill, New York, but their line is now manufactured in Eason, Pennsylvania.
Harley Davidson was the only surviving motorcycle manufacturer in the United States founded before World War I. Some of their most notable bikes include the Softail and Fat Boy.
Forget tanks and helmets, the Zippo was the most valuable item on the battlefield during World War II. The company started in 1932 in Bradford, Pennsylvania where it still stands today.
3M started offering Post-Its in 1980, and since then, they have sold an estimated 1 trillion pads. Art Fry created this office staple because he wanted a better way to mark his pages during church services.
Wilson, founded in Chicago at the start of World War II, is a leading manufacturer of sports equipment in the U.S. They’re known for high-quality tennis rackets, baseball mitts, and forming friendships, such as the one Tom Hanks found with their volleyball in the movie Cast Away.
Serve hot dogs and burgers at your Independence Day barbeque by using a Weber Grill. Aside from their gas models, all their products have been manufactured in Palatine, Illinois since 1952.
The classic Igloo cooler is essential for beach trips, tailgates, and other outdoor events. The brand started as a metalworking shop in 1947, but now offers 500 plus products at hundreds of retailers around the world.
Founded by William J. Riley, New Balance walked into the heart of Boston, Massachusetts in 1906. This brand has been manufacturing athletic footwear since the beginning of the 20th century.
The Pyrex brand was born in New York in 1908. Whether you need a place for your Thanksgiving leftovers or a measuring cup to bake your grandma’s recipe, you can rely on this all-American kitchenware.
Rock out with a Martin Guitar, an American manufacturer founded in 1833 by Christian Frederick Martin. John Mayer, Elvis Presley, and Eric Clapton are a few who turn to the classic acoustics.
A Brief History of American-Made Products
Americans have valued products made in our own backyard throughout history. In fact, at the peak of the Revolutionary War, the Homespun Movement encouraged women to make their own yarn, textiles, and clothing. During the Industrial Revolution, products were almost all exclusively made in the United States. However, that all changed in the 90s when the state of manufacturing had reached an alarming decline. Companies were forced to move their factories to places with cheaper labor around the world.
Although many products are produced overseas, all fifty states are responsible for producing at least one American-made product. Alaska creates exclusive driving mittens that are designed for snow machines, Wisconsin serves as the headquarters for Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and Pennsylvania continues to be the leading manufacturer of Zippo lighters, a company that began in the historic town of Bradford during the Great Depression.
The Fast Road to Success: Luke’s Toy Factory
Luke’s Toy Factory, a family-run organization in Connecticut, sells completely American-made eco-friendly toy trucks. James Barber and his son Luke started the company in 2015. James and Luke were inspired to start their company from Luke’s days playing with imported toys as a kid. James heard a story about toxic paint being used on the Thomas the Tank Engines his kids were playing with and was fearful that this was harmful to their health.
By the time Luke was grown-up with a college degree, he started creating 3D prototypes of toy trucks in an abandoned warehouse. The first toy was a firetruck and it took Luke only a week to finalize the design. Like all the trucks they offer, it contained 30% sawdust and 70% plastic. This makes the products last longer as the sawdust doesn’t have to heat up or cool down and acts as a strong adhesive during injection molding. Furthermore, James and Luke don’t have to import their parts from overseas. By keeping the materials close to home, they’re able to make sure things are done safely. There’s no need to worry about the same toxic paint found in Thomas the Tank Engine!
Each truck comes apart like a puzzle and is easy enough for kids to assemble on their own. This makes them great for the playground and classroom as they are designed to improve problem solving, motor skills, and creativity in young minds. The team, including Jim, Luke, and another father-son duo, Mitch and Evan, do everything themselves from managing the Instagram account to taking out the trash to welding the axles and wheels onto their toys. These humble beginnings translate to the way they do business, supplying more than two-hundred Mom & Pop toy shops around the country with their unique trucks. At the end of the day, Luke’s Toy Company was built from the ground up and shows true American craftsmanship at work.
What is Made in the USA?
If you want to offer your own American-made products, it’s important to become familiar with the Federal Trade Commission, an organization that protects consumers against deceptive business practices. They define what constitutes a product that’s made in the United States.
To make matters even more complicated, there are a lot of gray areas when it comes to claiming a product is made in the United States. In fact, you can make both qualified and unqualified claims.
Both the grill and iPhone can claim to be “Made in the USA.” Being knowledgeable about the difference is important as both a business and consumer. Companies can use a patriotic logo or pull their slogan straight from the Pledge of Allegiance, but they still might not offer products that are made in the United States. Do your homework if American-made products are important to you.
What Items Are Made in the United States?
From your home to the office, there are plenty of American-made products on the market. These elegantly designed items are usually a bit more expensive, but well worth the extra price if you want quality items made in the United States.
Couches, tables, and nightstands made in America tend to be more expensive than foreign imports. Many furniture makers, like Vermont Woods Studios and Online Amish Furniture, craft their pieces by hand from solid wood or other natural materials found on U.S. soil.
Companies like Levi’s and L.L. Bean offer products made in the USA. This adds a designer touch that costs a bit more. For example, a pair of American-made Levi’s runs for over 15% higher than other brands, while a tote bag from L.L. Bean costs anywhere between $35 and $50.
It’s possible to find refrigerators, dishwashers, grills, and other household appliances that are made in the United States. Check with the store to confirm whether or not the appliance has the label. Whirlpool, KitchenAid, and GE are a few brands that produce American-made products.
Motorola smartphones made before 2014 were manufactured in Fort Worth, Texas. It’s still possible to buy these refurbished phones online. You can also find televisions, headphones, and music amplifiers that are made in the United States.
Cars.com has made it easy to find automobiles that are proudly made in the USA. By shopping through their “American-Made Index,” you can find cars that contain 75% American-made parts. The Toyota Camry and Honda Odyssey, though they are Japanese automakers, assemble their cars at plants in Indiana, Kentucky, and Alabama.
Aside from furniture and Zippo lighters, there are many other items out there that are made in the USA. Take for instance American-made promotional products like custom pens and tote bags. A huge selection of these advertising giveaways is made right in our backyard. You can use these items to both market your business and support the economy.
Reusable bags have always been one of the most popular giveaways. You can use totes made in the United States to hold your groceries and for essentials as you commute to and from work.
Sometimes we all need a little distraction. Fidget spinners, the most popular toy in 2016, provide just that, giving American professionals and students the opportunity to increase their focus and learn some pretty nifty tricks.
You don’t have to be a professional athlete to benefit from American-made water bottles. Staying hydrated is extremely important in this busy, fast-paced country.
At this point, a good game of golf is as American as eating peanuts and Cracker Jacks® at the ballgame. It’s important to come prepared for tee-off, leaving you focused to outshine your boss on the course.
If your car smells like sweaty socks and moldy cheese, you’ll need a way to cut through all the stink. Air fresheners made in the USA smell like the sweet scent of freedom.
Garyline, a productional products vendor in the industry since 1963, offers a variety of Made in the USA products including ice scrapers, water bottles, and bag clips. Their plastic is made in house so they don’t have to get orders shipped overseas. This reduces their carbon footprint, significantly decreases waste, and cuts down production costs.
Just like electronics, appliances, or anything else in the marketplace, promotional products can be assembled all over the world. Be sure to do your research before purchasing if the “Made in the USA” label is important to you as a consumer.
The Bottom Line
You have a lot of freedom when it comes to the products and services you choose. It’s easy to furnish your house, commute to and from work, call your friends, and promote your business with American-made items. All it takes is a little research and patriotism to keep the flag flying!
Alyssa is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products. As a promo expert, she's uncovered the world’s first custom tote bag, interviewed the guy behind rock band ACDC’s logo, and had a piece published by the Advertising Specialty Institute, a leader in the promotional products industry.
Consumer Reports. (2013, February). Knowing Which Products are Truly Made in America. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2013/02/made-in-america/index.htm
Livingston, A. (2018). Products Made in the USA – Reasons to Buy American-Made Goods. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from https://www.moneycrashers.com/products-made-usa-american-made/
Popular Mechanics. (2017, June 29). Made in the USA: One Awesome Thing Built in Each State. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/tools/a26870/made-in-the-usa/
Snaveley, B. (2014, June 7). Chrysler Changes Slogan to Launch New 200 Sedan. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/06/07/chrysler-200-americas-import/10166151/
Kennedy, M. (2017, July 18). White House Highlights “Made in America” Products From Each State. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/07/18/537897405/white-house-highlights-made-in-america-products-from-each-state
Idacavage, S. (2017, July 7). Fashion History Lesson: The Evolving Concept of ‘Made in the USA.’ Retrieved June 13, 2018, from https://fashionista.com/2017/07/made-in-the-usa-american-clothing-history
American Marketing Association. (2018). Consumers Will Pay More for a ‘Made in the USA’ Label. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from https://www.ama.org/publications/JournalOfInternationalMarketing/Pages/pr_jim.10.0140.aspx
CBS Money Watch. (2012, July 3). Made in USA: 10 Great Products Still Made Here. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from https://www.cbsnews.com/media/made-in-usa-10-great-products-still-made-here/
Chandra, S. (2017, August 16). The Stuff Still Made in the USA. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-08-16/the-stuff-still-made-in-the-usa
Wee, H. (2013, March 6). Made in the USA: More Consumers Buying American. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from https://www.cnbc.com/id/100519468
Brown, C. (2017, April 18). Here are 100+ Brands that are 100% Made in the USA. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from https://clark.com/shopping-retail/american-made-in-the-usa/
Rindskopf, J. (2018, April 12). 50 Products That Are Still Made in America. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from https://blog.cheapism.com/products-made-in-usa-16283/
Razoczy, C. (2017, May 9). These 10 Top-Rated “Made in America” Products are High-Quality – and Let You Buy Local. Retrieved June 18, 2018, from https://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/09/these-10-top-rated-made-in-america-products-are-high-quality-percent-u2014-and-let-you-buy-local.html
Freeth, N. (2005). Made in America: 200 All-American Products. St. Paul, MN: Colin Gower Enterprises Ltd.