Cheerios Once Again Named As A Top-Trusted Food Brand In The US

For the last four years, global research firm Morning Consult has been polling consumers across the globe in order to come up with its ranking of the world's "Most Trusted Brands." According to the firm's newly released 2023 report, Cheerios is the most trusted food and beverage brand in the U.S. The company based the ranking on polling responses from between 799 and 8,434 adults across the country. Indeed, it has now earned this honor for the second year in a row. Moreover, in doing so, Cheerios bested a cereal brand that predates it by decades: Kellogg's, which came in at number two in the category for 2023. In addition to Cheerios and Kellogg's, the 10 most trusted food brands for 2023 include Campbell's, Oreo, M&M's, Heinz, Lipton, Ritz, Lay's, and Pillsbury, respectively.

Morning Consult says it considers trust to be one of the 10 most relevant measures of a company's overall success, defining it as a "deep and intangible belief in the perceived virtue of a person, business, or organization." Consumer trust tends to correlate with a product's perceived value, another important metric.

Trust may not necessarily correlate with sales. However, in the case of Cheerios, its Honey Nut flavor is the most popular U.S. breakfast cereal as of 2023, according to Wishlisted, which based its finding on sales data from retail giants Amazon and Walmart.

The keys to consumer trust

Americans have been eating Cheeriossince 1941. That includes feeding it to their infants as a first finger food. Apparently, this long and notably baby-friendly history has helped Cheerios to earn and retain consumer trust. Morning Consult observes that each of the 10 most trusted food and beverages brands in its 2023 report "has a long, rich heritage in the industry, many dating back more than 100 years to the origins of packaged foods." Moreover, reviews found on the Cheerios website tend to suggest that its status as an old-reliable is working in its favor. In addition, the cereal is gluten-free, kosher, free of legally-declarable allergens, and made with 100% whole grains.

Although Morning Consult has been ranking the most trusted brands for only four years now, Cheerios actually made its first appearance in the survey's maiden voyage in 2020.  It ranked in third place among food brands, just before M&Ms. The first was Chick-fil-A, but restaurants are now in a separate category in the reportThe second was Hershey's, but the chocolate bar brand has since slipped from the top 10 most trusted food and beverage brands. 

Morning Consult's 2023 report also ranks Cheerios as the sixth most trusted brand in the U.S. in all categories. This represents a step up from last year's seventh-place ranking. In both 2022 and 2023, Cheerios was the only food or beverage brand — including Kellogg's, to appear in the top 10 most trusted brands in all categories in the U.S.