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TORONTO – Leading market research firm BrandSpark International announced the winners of the 2018 edition of the BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards for everyday consumer product ("CPG") brands in Canada. More than 18,000 household shoppers participated in the online survey and determined Canada’s most trusted brands in Food & Beverage, Personal Care & Beauty, Household & Pets and Over-the-Counter Health.

Now in its 5th year, the research-based awards program operates independently from media, with winners exclusively determined by the unaided responses of shoppers in the BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study, one of the most comprehensive annual surveys of household shoppers.

"Building a strong foundation of consumer trust is critical today when consumers have more choices available than ever before," said Robert Levy, President and CEO of BrandSpark International. "The top Canadian CPG brands establish trust by repeatedly meeting consumer expectations with great product experiences. The very best of these brands further elevate this trust with meaningful innovation while maintaining strong value and consistent quality," said Levy. "While trust in the brand is anchored in personal experience, it is increased by transparency, fair pricing and the endorsement of other consumers. Further," continues Levy, "our study shows that 66% of shoppers try new products from brands they trust the most".

The BrandSpark study shows that it is important for a brand to respond quickly to serious issues, with 96% saying it increases their trust. Transparency is also key to building trust with 94% agreeing that brands who provide consumers with detailed information about their product or service earn their trust, and 86% saying their trust in the brand increases when they see unfiltered customer reviews online. Finally, pricing influences trust as much as product or service quality, with brands that offer consistent and competitive pricing more likely to be perceived as fair and respectful of their customers.

The BrandSpark Most Trusted seal allows brands to communicate the trust they have earned from shoppers. Leading brands, such as Tide and Abreva, have used the winner’s seal in PR and marketing. Alicia Bruyea, Brand Manager of Abreva explains the appeal of leveraging the BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards win, saying that "promoting the Most Trusted brand award is a great way to tell cold sore sufferers that the most trusted cold sore remedy brand in Canada is Abreva". Shoppers themselves tell us that when they aren’t familiar with a brand or product, they look toward endorsements from other consumers. Positive endorsement in the form of awards is also very impactful with 84% of Canadian shoppers saying their trust in a brand increases if it has won awards based on consumer feedback.

More than 18,000 Canadian shoppers determined the BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards winners for 2018 through their "top of mind" unaided responses for categories in which they purchase. The results are ranked based on the greatest volume of mentions (ties are declared if the margin of victory is within 2%). The questions were included in the annual BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study.

BrandSpark International uniquely combines real world consumer insight with marketing credentials and services. BrandSpark Insight gets at the heart of WHAT consumers think, WHY they act the way they do, and HOW marketers need to respond to successfully grow their business. BrandSpark Marketing Services runs major CPG awards programs Best New Product Awards, BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards and consumer product endorsement and amplification platform, Shopper Army.