What brands do Canadians trust most?

President's Choice and Mountain Equipment Co-op take top spots for consumer trust

When it comes to brands Canadians trust most, food and wilderness seem to be top of mind.

The Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria has released its second in-depth analysis of what corporate and products brands are most trusted by Canadians.

A sample of 6,384 consumers ranked 276 corporate and product brands in 27 industries. Brands were judged based on brand trust, social responsibility, functional trust, relationship trust and whether a consumer would recommend the brand to others.

This year, President’s Choice and Mountain Equipment Co-op tied for first place, with Costco coming up third. The remaining brands in the top ten were a mix of larger companies such as Home Hardware and Canon, as well as more niche companies such as DavidsTea and Columbia Sportswear.

Last year, Tim Hortons, President’s Choice and Shoppers Drug Mart topped the list, followed by Google and Canadian Tire. Food manufacturers Kraft Foods, Campbell Soup Company and Heinz also broke the top ten most-trusted brands. This year, only President's Choice and Shoppers Drug Mart remained in the top ten.

“We examine the importance that Canadian consumers place on different factors that lead to trust of companies and their brands,” said Saul Klein, dean of the Gustavson School of Business. “Over the last year, we have seen some disappointing examples of where companies have underminded consumer trust through misguided behaviours, but also some inspiring cases of good conduct that have enhanced trust.”

Costco was not only named the third most-trusted brand in Canada—in a breakdown by industry sector, it was named the most-trusted food and drug retailer, beating out Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaw and IGA. Last year, Walmart was named the most trusted supermarket overall. This year, it fell to the 262nd spot.

Laura Secord took top spot in the confectionery category, while Agropur came out on top in the dairy category.

Researchers found that brand trusts increase with the age of the consumer, but brand trust decreases as income fo the consumer increases. It also found that female consumers are more trusting than males, and values-based trust is becoming a more important driver of overall brand trust.