According to the latest iteration of Morning Consult’s Most Trusted Brands report, Gen Z is the least trusting of highly trusted brands, including food and beverage brands, compared to other generations.

Rachel French, Contributing writer

July 21, 2023

2 Min Read
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Across the more-than 1,500 brands tracked by Morning Consult as part of its Most Trusted Brands report, Gen Z reported the lowest average net trust compared to other generations. In fact, the average net trust of Gen Z—a value of 11.26—was nearly half that of Gen X and Baby Boomers.

Morning Consult measures “net trust” as the share of people who trust a brand (people who said they trust a brand to do the right thing “a lot” or “some”) minus those who don’t (people who said they trust a brand to do the right thing “not much” or “not at all”).

Looking at Morning Consult’s list of top 10 most trusted brands in the U.S. across all industries, the number of Gen Zers who said they trust each brand was lower than that of the total U.S. population across all brands. This includes the only food and beverage brand to make the list: Cheerios.

While 63% of all U.S. adults said they trust the Cheerios brand, only 56% of Gen Zs said the same.

Per the authors of the report, Gen Z’s lower trust levels “make sense.” “Gen Zers as a whole exhibit lower levels of trust in all industries and institutions,” they explained. “Some of this trust will be built up over time—remember, Gen Zers are young consumers.”

Key to building rapport with the young cohort is finding ways to connect.

“Like the courting of Millennials, brands need to work to meet Gen Zers where they are without coming off as the corporation in the room,” the authors wrote.

The report showed the most trusted food and beverage brands are legacy brands like Cheerios, Kellogg’s and Campbell’s.

Cheerios took the top spot this year as the most trusted food and beverage brand in the U.S., garnering a net trust of 53.42. Taking the No. 2 and No. 3 spots are Kellogg’s and Campbell’s, with net trust values of 51.90 and 51.63, respectively.

Cheerios, which took the No. 6 spot in the list of the top 10 most trusted brands across all industries, also took the top spot in the food and beverage sector in 2022, when the brand garnered a net trust value of 53.04.

Other household brands to make the list top 10 most trusted food and beverage brands include Oreo, with a net trust value of 50.34; M&M’s (49.42); Heinz (49.39); Lipton (48.78); Ritz (48.75); Lay’s (48.73) and Pillsbury (48.61).

Rachel Adams joined Informa’s Health & Nutrition Network in 2013. Her career in the natural products industry started with a food and beverage focus before transitioning into her role as managing editor of Natural Products INSIDER, where she covered the dietary supplement industry. Adams left Informa Markets in 2019.

About the Author(s)

Rachel French

Contributing writer

Rachel French joined Informa’s Health & Nutrition Network in 2013. Her career in the natural products industry started with a food and beverage focus before transitioning into her role as managing editor of Natural Products Insider, where she covered the dietary supplement industry. French left Informa Markets in 2019, but continues to freelance for both FBI and NPI.

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