Dairy brands Land O’Lakes, Breyers and Yoplait have received Most Trusted Awards from BrandSpark International for 2017, as those brands have in their respective categories every year of the contest, based on feedback from more than 10,000 American shoppers. 

Land O’Lakes and Breyers won for the fourth straight year, and Yoplait for the third. (A yogurt category was not included in the first year of the contest, which spans the Health & Beauty, Food & Beverage, Household & Pets, and Kids & Babies categories, said Robert Levy, CEO of BrandSpark.)

“Food brands particularly need to be reliable on quality, which relates very closely to health but also consistency with taste,” Levy said. “Just being around a long time isn’t enough. But when you have been around a long time and you resonate, it’s hard to be dislodged. … The brands have to stay on top of those [health and taste] trends. That’s how they stay leaders.” 

Food brands probably have more wiggle room to change their formula to make their products healthier than they do in changing the taste, which can produce a backlash, he adds. Non-food brands such as laundry detergent probably have an easier time making such alterations.

Butter from Land O’Lakes tastes good

Consumers generally saw Land O’ Lakes as consistently delivering on taste and quality without compromising on healthfulness, Levy said. “I have used that butter since I was a child in my mother’s house in Bayonne, N.J., and I am not going to switch now,” one respondent wrote. Said another, “It has butter with less fat; it has great taste.”

Consumers note Breyers’ used of all-natural ingredients

Breyers (a Unilever brand) stood out for taste and variety of flavors, as well as sticking with all-natural ingredients, Levy said. “It’s viewed as an indulgent food but also held to higher nutritional standards,” he said. One consumer said, “It’s a little more expensive than the others, but I like the flavor selection that they have, and it just tastes better.” 

Yoplait combines nutrition, taste and choices

The right combination of nutrition, taste and combination of flavor choices has propelled Yoplait (from General Mills) to the top of its category, Levy said. “Has good protein content, gives me energy and I love its taste,” wrote one respondent. Another said, “The taste is very good and more flavorful than the traditional yogurt brands.”

BrandSpark has included milk as a category in past years but did not this time because so many brands are regional, and no one brand seemed to stand out, Levy said. But BrandSpark might include the category again in the future, he said.