As we get ready for election day tomorrow–which we will discuss then–we all know that America has become politically polarized. Furthermore, it seems that everything is getting politicized (entertainment, education, technology, religion). It turns out, even our shopping is political. Liberals and conservatives buy products, they prefer different brands.
Politico studied brand research and reported its findings in Do You Eat Republican Cheese?: The Two Americas, a Snapshot in Brands.
Some of the preferences are obvious. Liberals watch CNN; conservatives watch FoxNews. Liberals read The New York Times; conservatives prefer The Wall Street Journal.
But there are also measurable differences in pet food (liberals like Fancy Feast; conservatives like Meow Mix) and cleansers (liberals like Seventh Generation; conservatives like Bar Keeper’s Friend). But why? Such products wouldn’t seem to carry any political meaning.
Other brand preferences, though, are revealing. When it comes to dairy products, liberals like Storyfield yogurt; conservatives like Kraft Velveeta cheese. When it comes to automobiles, liberals like Subaru; conservatives like Chevrolets. With soft drinks, liberals prefer LaCroix Sparkling Water; conservatives prefer Diet Pepsi. Liberals eat at California Pizza Kitchen; conservatives eat at Cracker Barrel. Liberals stay at a Marriott; conservatives at a Comfort Inn. Liberals make coffee with a Nespresso; conservatives with a Mr. Coffee. When liberals buy jeans, they go to Old Navy; conservatives buy Wranglers. The liberal’s idea of fast food is Starbuck’s; conservatives buy chicken at Bojangles. Liberals buy groceries at Trader Joe’s; conservatives go to Sam’s Club.
This consumer data gives evidence for the gentrification of liberal politics and the Democratic Party. Now liberals represent the affluent, high status social class. Conversely, the Republicans have become the party of the working class.
This is not how it used to be. Republicans used to be considered the party of big business and the rich. Democrats championed the cause of blue collar workers. Now, this is all but reversed.
Of course, there are still “country club Republicans” and labor union Democrats. Each party has its factions and different constituencies. But their shopping habits are telling.
It used to be said that you shouldn’t park a foreign car in the parking lot of a unionized factory lest it get vandalized. Now Democrats are favoring foreign cars and Republicans are buying American.
There is, however, one brand that both parties can agree on. They do differ in their “craft beer,” with liberals preferring Sierra Nevada and conservatives preferring Sam Adams. But when it comes to macrobrews, both parties favor Coors.
On that basis, perhaps the nation can come together again, with Republicans and Democrats gathered around the beer brewed with Rocky Mountain spring water in Golden, Colorado.
Photo: U.S. Air Force photo/David Terry. Public Domain