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Safety Gauge 2013: Insights

The economics of product safety

The economics of product safety


The TÜV SÜD Safety Gauge research is the first of its kind to investigate corporate product safety practices alongside consumer attitudes and experiences in the children’s products, food products and consumer electronics sectors.

Member of the Board of Management, TÜV SÜD AG

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Infographic: Product Safety in numbers

TÜV SÜD Safety Gauge research findings

This TÜV SÜD infographic presents the findings of TÜV SÜD’s Safety Gauge study conducted to investigate on consumers’ attitudes, experiences and views regarding product safety, and discusses the implications of the study’s findings, providing insights for businesses to better understand consumer expectations.

The research was conducted among consumers and business professionals in top-tier cities in the U.S., the U.K., China, India and Japan. These five markets represent almost half (48%) of worldwide Gross Domestic Product (USD 62.6 trillion). Data was collected through online surveys as well as through consumer and business panel discussions. More than 5000 consumers and 500 management-level employees in manufacturing, distribution and retail companies contributed data to the Safety Gauge study.

Click here to download the infographic

The research was conducted across the following product segments:

- Food products: Fresh produce, meat, fish, processed food, etc.

- Consumer electronics: TVs, laptops, mobile phones, etc.

- Children’s products: Toys, baby bottles, children’s clothing, etc.

The consumer sample is nationally representative of consumers between 18-50 years of age and includes decision makers purchasing consumer electronics, food & beverages, and children’s clothing and related products.

The business sample includes management-level employees positioned to provide an informed perspective on product safety-related issues within their organization. Participants come from companies in the consumer electronics, food & beverages, and children’s clothing and related products industries.

Due to rounding, percentages in this paper may not add up to 100% and may have up to 1% discrepancy.

Key figures at a glance 

Consumers are willing to pay a 16% premium for products that achieve exemplary safety standards, and more than 90% of consumers believe that independent third-party testing is important.

Yet, businesses estimate that they spend 9% of revenue annually on product recalls, and would need to increase production spending by 19% to achieve exemplary levels of product safety. Further, only 55% of manufacturers and 41% of distributors currently undertake independent third-party testing for product safety.

What can businesses learn from the TÜV SÜD Safety Gauge study? 

  • The results of this study clearly demonstrate that the importance of product safety has grown significantly in the last 5 years, and will continue to grow in importance during the coming 5 years, especially for consumer electronics where significant growth is expected. Consumers are not only placing increased value on the safety of the products that they purchase, but are also becoming more knowledgeable about how to identify products that are more likely to be safe.
  • These findings represent a significant opportunity for businesses to leverage consumers’ interest in safe products by making product safety a priority. The additional investment by businesses to increase the safety of their products can effectively reduce the cost associated with product recalls, and also increase consumer loyalty to their brands, thereby supporting efforts to increase market share.
  • Products that meet independent certified standards are more likely to be favored by consumers who are aware of safety certifications and labels, and who place importance on independent certification. TÜV SÜD can support efforts to select a suitable safety certification scheme and testing that demonstrate your company’s ongoing commitment to safe products and practices.

A second installment of the Safety Gauge research will be conducted in 2016. Watch this space for more information!


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