The most trusted CPG brands in Canada (Survey)

Controversial ketchup brand snags the top spot in BrandSpark survey

Heinz may be embroiled in a ketchup kerfuffle, but it’s the most trusted CPG brand in Canada, according to a new survey from BrandSpark International.

The Toronto-based marketing research firm has released its list of the most trusted CPG brands in Canada. The results are based on a survey of more than 45,000 Canadians who took part in the 2016 BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study between November 2015 and March 2016.

The top brands are named in 133 categories, broken down into four groups: food and beverage, health and beauty, household, and kids; and were determined through shoppers’ top of mind responses.

BrandSpark also named the top five most trusted brands overall, ranked by margin in terms of how much further ahead a brand was than its closest competitor. They are: 1) Heinz 2) Old El Paso 3) Band-Aid 4) Drano and 5) Gillette.

“What’s interesting [about Heinz] is that the competition is really just private label,” said Robert Levy, president and CEO of BrandSpark International. “Store brands or President’s Choice come up a little bit… but no other brand is coming up as [a strong] number-two in ketchup.”

That could change, however, as Heinz is at the centre of a patriotic backlash. Two years ago, Heinz closed its plant in Leamington, Ont. Recently, a decision by Loblaw to delist French’s ketchup, which uses Leamington tomatoes, sparked an uproar and led to Loblaw reversing its decision.

“It’s going to be up to French’s and PC to step in and focus on both the taste and value… and then if you add in the local aspect on top of it, then it becomes a tie breaker,” said Levy.

“On the other hand, it may well be advantageous for Heinz to protect their market share and really focus on the benefits, the quality and the trust and not take it for granted. It wouldn’t surprise me if we start to see other brands starting to connect with consumers.”

In terms of the different categories, the most trusted brands in food and beverage include Kraft in cheese, Molson in beer, Dempster’s in bread, Maple Leaf in packaged meat and Danone in yogurt.

In the health and beauty category, Dove (hand soap, bar soap and body wash); Gilette (women’s shaving); L’Oréal (hair colour); and Always (feminine sanitary products) were among the most trusted brands.

The most trusted household brands include Royale in bathroom tissue, Dawn in dish soap, Tide in laundry detergent, Mr. Clean in cleaning aids, and Purina in dog food.

In the kids category, the winners are Heinz in baby food, Pampers in diapers, Colgate in toothpaste, Fisher Price in toys and Flintstones in vitamins.

WHAT DRIVES BRAND TRUST?

The top brands have built trust by developing a positive and consistent quality experience, said Philip Scrutton, BrandSpark’s director of consumer insights. “The more that experience is really personal, the stronger it gets. And that’s the basis of what builds trust.”

The study also notes that consumers trust brands that respond to problems quickly and transparently, and those they perceive as fair and ethical.

Levy added that brands still have to use promotion and price because value continues to be the number-one purchase driver for Canadians. “That’s where [trust] can be a good tie breaker—if there’s a brand they trust and it’s the same price or not a lot more, then chances are, the consumers will stick with it.”

The study also found that innovation can help relatively newer brands rise to the top, such as Keurig, which won in the coffee machine category. However, 66% of Canadians will try new products from the brands they trust the most. The survey also found 74% percent of Canadians try to purchase their most trusted brand names when they’re on sale versus the generic or store brand versions.

Nearly half of Canadians (45%) say they are less loyal to brands than they were in the past. “There’s a seeming contradiction in that brand trust is important, but we’re seeing that Canadians are possibly less loyal to brands,” said Levy. “I think marketers are going to have to keep working harder and not take for granted the brands that are trusted and why they’re trusted.

CANADIANS MOST LOYAL TO KIDS’ AND PET FOOD BRANDS

The importance of trust varies for different types of products. Brand trust is most important for baby and children’s products and pet food, where 75% of Canadians regularly buy the same brand name products.

  • 70% of Canadians are loyal to their top brand of deodorant or antiperspirant, toothpaste and facial moisturizer.
  • For health and beauty products such as hair colour, foundation, vitamins and shampoo, 60% of Canadians remain loyal to their top brands.
  • For groceries, more than 60% of Canadians remain loyal to their cereal, tea, cheese, and Mexican food brands.

The full list of the most trusted brands can be found here.

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