Good honest chocolate: Whittaker’s earns top marks in Reader’s Digest most trusted brand survey

Porirua chocolate maker Whittaker’s has been voted New Zealand’s most trusted brand in the annual Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Survey, moving up three places to top the 2012 list, knocking last year’s number one St John’s from its perch down to number two.

Founded in 1896, Whittaker’s now has more than 70 products in its range and exports to Asia and Australia (check out this article from ThinkTV about aspects of its marketing strategy).

Cooking and baking goods brand Edmonds made an impressive debut at number three, while Dettol fell from two to eight.

The eighth annual brand survey confirmed some solid favourite category brands, as Sony and Fisher & Paykel have topped their categories (electronics and whitegoods, respectively) since the survey began in 2005. 

As of last year, the survey was conducted with a new methodology by Catalyst, with an initial scoping survey used to determine the list of brands to be included in the main study (brands scoring below a minimum level of recognition were removed from the options). Participants were then asked to name their most Trusted Brands in 25 categories of products and services across a wide range of industries. In this phase, 1214 New Zealanders completed an online questionnaire (participants were asked to give a trust scale of 1-10 to a list of 168 brands). Population-weighting factors were incorporated to ensure the statistical accuracy of the results. 

 Reader’s Digest top 10 most trusted brands (last year’s position in brackets):

Whittaker’s (3)
St John (1)
Edmonds (n/a)
Wattie’s (4)
Sanitarium (8)
Tip Top (bread) (5)
Lemon & Paeroa (L&P) (10)
Dettol (2)
Toyota (9)
Colgate (7)

CATEGORIES (Category Winner, Highly Commended)

NZ Iconic Brands: Wattie’s, Whittaker’s
Banks: KiwiBank, ASB
Breakfast Food: Sanitarium, Kellogg’s
Car Brands: Toyota, Ford
Cleaning Products: Dettol, Jif
Confectionery: Whittaker’s, Nestle
DIY Power Tools: Stihl, Black & Decker
Dry Foods: Sanitarium, Tip Top 
Electronics: Sony, Panasonic
Fast Food: Subway, McDonald’s
Frozen Food: Wattie’s, Bird’s Eye
Gardening Equipment: Masport, Stihl
Home Improvement Stores: Mitre 10, Bunnings
Hotel/Motel Accommodation: Copthorne, Millennium
Insurance Providers: AA Insurance, Southern Cross
Kitchen Appliances: Breville, Kenwood
Packaged Foods: Wattie’s, Sanitarium
Pain Relief: Panadol, Nurofen
Paint Brands: Resene, Dulux
Pet Food Brands: Whiskas, Purina One
Retail Brands: Farmers, NZ Post
Supermarket Brands: Countdown, Pak ‘n’ Save
Toiletries & Cosmetics: Colgate, Dove
Vitamins & Supplements: Healtheries, Blackmores
Whitegoods: Fisher & Paykel, Samsung

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