Whittaker's named NZ's most trusted brand

MICHAEL DALY
Last updated 00:00 25/07/2013

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Whittaker's is the country's most trusted brand for the second year in a row, a week after the chocolate company riled police with an advertising stunt in Paeroa.

Toyota is second in the 12th annual Reader's Digest most trusted brands list, followed by Panadol, Dettol, Kenwood, Russell Hobbs, Tip Top Ice Cream, Sony, Weet-Bix, and Colgate. Panadol, Kenwood and Sony were new to the top-10 list this year, Reader's Digest said.

Whittaker's also topped the confectionery and New Zealand icons sections of the exercise. Holly Whittaker, the company's brand manager, said it was great encouragement that an unwavering 117-year passion for chocolate was recognised.

She may be smiling now, but police were unimpressed last week when they were duped into thinking a Whittaker's publicity stunt was a real crash. Police took several concerned calls about the crash, where a Whittaker's chocolate van apparently smashed into Paeroa's iconic L&P bottle. It later transpired that the crash was a stunt to advertise a new L&P-flavoured chocolate, and that the local mayor was in on the act.

New section categories in the trusted brands survey this year included homebuilders, where Lockwood was top, while Harcourts was the favourite real estate agency, and Pams led the supermarket/home brands section.

Other section winners were: banks, Kiwibank; biscuits, Cadbury; bread, Vogel's; breakfast food, Sanitarium; cars, Toyota; cleaning products, Dettol; DIY power tools, Stihl; electronics, Sony; energy providers, Genesis; fast food, Subway; frozen food, Watties; gardening equipment, Masport; general insurance, AA Insurance; heat pumps, Panasonic; home improvement stores, Mitre 10; life insurance, AA Life; pain relief, Panadol; paint, Resene; pet food, Whiskas; retailers, Farmers; small kitchen appliances, Kenwood; supermarkets, Pak'nSave; toiletries and cosmetics, Colgate; vitamins and supplements, Healtheries; whitegoods, Fisher & Paykel.

Reader's Digest said the list started with a scoping survey to build brand lists for each category, through an open-ended questionnaire.  After analysis of the scoping results the main survey was sent to 1525 people who rated brands on a trust scale of 1-10. Population-weighting factors were used for statistical accuracy.

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