US Consumers Prefer Runners-Up to Brand Leaders

16 November 2006

ANN ARBOR, Michigan: Among the brands most satisfying to the Great America Public are Pepsi, Kellogg, Sara Lee and Reebok; while market leaders Coca-Cola, Heinz and Nike have lost favour. Overall, however, the nation's brand are fulfilling the expectations of US consumers.

After a surge lasting more than a year, the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is unchanged for the third quarter of 2006. At a score of 74.4, it also remains near its all-time high and 1.6% above its year-ago point.

Food processing, petfoods, soft drinks, and personal care/cleaning products are all up by 1.2%, whereas cigarettes, apparel and breweries declined by about the same amount.

All in all, the consumer nondurables sector, measured each year in the third quarter and reported on in the fourth, improves by 0.6% to an ACSI score of 82.3 - the highest of any sector in ACSI.

Sarah Lee, Kellogg, Pepsi, and Rebook are among the largest gainers this quarter. Each improved customer satisfaction by 4-5%. Despite a drop of as much as 4%, Heinz continues to lead the sector with a score of 87.

Reynolds, with a score of 80, is the highest among cigarette makers. Reebok at 78 has overtaken Nike in the athletic shoe business, while Clorox at 86 is the leader in personal care and cleaning products.

Overall, customer satisfaction improves for 50% of the measured firms, drops for 30%, and is unchanged for 20%.

To view the full ACSI data click here.

Data sourced from AdAge (USA); additional content by WARC staff