Reader’s Digest Annual Survey Determines the Most Trusted Brands in America

“Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand” seal increases consumers’ likelihood of purchasing a brand’s product or service

NEW YORK--()--Reader’s Digest, a Trusted Media Brands, Inc. (TMBI) company and one of the nation’s largest and most respected media brands, today announced the results of its third annual Trusted Brand®* Survey, published in the June issue available on newsstands today. More than 5,500 Americans across the country participated in the online survey, which awards the “Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brand” title to winners in 40 product categories, including travel, food and beverage, automotive, beauty and healthcare, retail and customer service, financial services, household items, consumer electronics and more.

In this year’s survey, more than half of participants responded that the “Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand” seal of approval would increase their likelihood of trusting a brand, and 49 percent are more likely to purchase its products or services. Due to consumer sentiment toward the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand certification, the number of winners incorporating the seal into their advertising campaigns has increased fourfold since the program’s inception in 2015. Ford, Toyota and Kellogg’s are among the brands that have previously incorporated their recognition as a Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand into their advertising. Only brands voted by America as Most Trusted are eligible for the certification program.

Gaining consumer loyalty is more vital than ever, with approximately three out of four (72 percent) of survey participants citing trust as important for purchasing decisions, an increase from 69 percent in 2016.

Further, when a product or service’s quality and price are similar, 81 percent will buy from the company they trust more. As today’s brand-safe economy continues to evolve, it is becoming increasingly difficult to gain consumer confidence, with roughly half (49 percent) of participants indicating they are less trusting of brands today.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Trust outweighs product pricing. Seventy percent of participants said they would pay more money to support a trusted brand.
  • Trust ensures customer retention and brand loyalty. Eighty percent said they tend to stick to the same brands they trust the most.
    • Sixty-seven percent agreed that “if a brand lets me down once, it’s hard for me to trust it enough to continue to buy it.”
  • Millennials are more likely to engage with brands they trust. Millennials are more likely to experiment with new brands and remember ads from trusted brands.
    • Millennials are highly responsive to brands that engage, with 71 percent reporting they trust brands that value their contribution and feedback.

“As a 113-year-old company, Ford considers trust the foundation of its longevity,” said Wendy King, Ford SUV Marketing Communications Manager. “We are honored that Ford cars and SUVs were recognized as the most trusted car and SUV brand by Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand program.”

“Trust is one of the most essential values we maintain at Reader’s Digest,” said Lee Zellweger, publisher of Reader’s Digest. “Through this program, we aim to capture Americans’ attitudes on brand trust in order to illustrate the importance of establishing relationships that build loyalty with today’s consumers. This year’s winners consist of brands and companies that have excelled at earning the respect and allegiance of consumers nationwide.”

The Reader's Digest Most Trusted Brands for 2017 are:

  • Airline: Southwest
  • Allergy relief: Claritin
  • Automobile (passenger cars excluding trucks): Ford
  • Automobile (SUV/crossover): Ford
  • Automotive insurance: State Farm
  • Banks: Bank of America
  • Body lotion/moisturizer (excluding facial creams): Nivea
  • Bottled water: Dasani
  • Coffee: Folgers
  • Cold & flu remedies: NyQuil
  • Cold cereal: Kellogg’s
  • Computer (desktop/laptop): Dell
  • Credit card: Visa
  • Cruise line: Carnival Corporation
  • Eye care product/eye health (excluding services, lenses and frames): Visine
  • Fast food/casual dining: McDonald’s
  • Facial moisturizer/cream: Olay
  • Hair color: L’Oreal
  • Headache/pain reliever: Tylenol
  • Herbal supplements/vitamins: Nature Made
  • Household air fresheners/deodorizers: Glade
  • Household cleaning product: Lysol
  • Investment firms: Fidelity
  • Juice: Tropicana
  • Small kitchen appliances (food processors, blenders, toasters, etc.): KitchenAid
  • Laundry detergent: Tide
  • Life insurance company: MetLife
  • Mass merchandiser retail store: Walmart
  • Mobile phones: Apple
  • Mouthwash: Listerine
  • National hotel chains/resorts: Hilton
  • National pharmacy/drug store: CVS Pharmacy
  • Nutrition bars: Nature Valley
  • Pet food: Purina (Pet/Dog/Cat/Puppy/Kitten Chow)
  • Salad dressing: Kraft
  • Soap/body wash: Dove
  • Soup: Campbell Soup
  • Weight loss systems: Weight Watchers
  • Wireless providers: Verizon
  • Yogurt: Yoplait

The Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey first launched in Asia in 2000. Since then, it has grown into a global initiative spanning 25 countries, where it is used as an insightful tool to assess consumer insights and attitudes related to products, services and professions and to recognize the world’s most trusted brands.

Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands provides consumers with the ability to share their knowledge about and recommendations for the brands and products they trust most. The survey also helps brands understand how consumers shop, what they look for among different categories and how trust impacts their purchase decisions and behaviors.

The full list of Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands can be found in the publication’s June issue, which goes on sale May 16 and online at

Follow Reader's Digest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and join the conversation with #RDTrustedBrands17.

About the Survey

These are findings from an Ipsos Connect study conducted for Reader’s Digest from November 15 to November 23, 2016. For the survey, a sample of 5,500 U.S. adults were interviewed online. The precision of online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 1.6 percentage points. The data was weighted to U.S. Census data by age, gender, income and geography. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online surveys. All sample surveys may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding.

Winning brands were determined by absolute vote and confirmed to be statistically significant from the other brand(s). In any category where the winning brand was not significantly different from the other brands, a follow up question was asked to determine the brand winner.

The highest brand is designated a category winner only if it is statistically significant at the 95 percent confidence level, when compared to the next highest brand. If a tie still existed, the secondary tie breaker was determined by direct performance of trust compared to other most trusted brand.

About Reader’s Digest

Reader’s Digest, a Trusted Media Brands, Inc. brand, simplifies and enriches consumers’ lives by discovering and expertly selecting the most interesting ideas, stories, experiences and products in health, home, family, food, finance and humor. Reader’s Digest is available online at; in print; via digital download on iPad, mobile apps and tablets; and can be accessed via its social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Google+.

Trusted Media Brands, Inc. comprises a network of engaged, active readers who genuinely connect with its blend of uplifting and enduring expertly-curated family, food, health, home improvement, finance and humor content digitally, via magazines and books, social media, and events and experiences. Founded in 1922 by DeWitt Wallace as Reader’s Digest Association, one of the first user-generated content publishers, Trusted Media Brands, Inc. is headquartered in New York City. For more information, visit

*Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand is a registered service mark of Trusted Media Brands, Inc.


For Reader’s Digest
Dana Casalino


For Reader’s Digest
Dana Casalino