Reader’s Digest Annual Survey Reveals 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, one of the nation’s largest and most respected media brands today, announced the results of its fourth annual Trusted Brand Survey in the June issue available on newsstands today and on RD Trusted Brands.

The survey, which is based on responses from more than 5,500 Americans across the country, awards the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand® title to brands and products in 40 product categories including travel, food and beverage, automotive, beauty and healthcare, retail, financial services, household items, and consumer electronics, among others.

This year’s survey revealed that approximately half (48 percent) of respondents said the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand® seal of approval increased their likelihood of trusting a brand, and 46 percent stated they were more likely to purchase products or services using the seal.

Since its launch in 2015, the number of winning products or services incorporating the seal into their advertising or marketing campaigns has increased fourfold. Among the brands that have previously used this recognition in their campaign include well-known brands such as Ford, Toyota, and Kellogg’s among others. Only brands voted by Americans as “Most Trusted” are eligible for the certification program.

This year’s survey found that gaining consumer loyalty is more vital than ever, with approximately three out of four (71 percent) of survey participants on average citing “trust” as important for their purchasing decision. Slightly more than eight out of ten (81 percent) consumers stated that “trust” is important in their purchasing decisions in categories such as health insurance and retirement services.

The survey also found that when a product or service’s quality and price are similar, 83 percent of consumers would buy from the company they “trust” more. However, the survey found that gaining consumer trust continues to be a challenge for brands and marketers, with roughly half (48 percent) of participants indicating they are less trusting of brands today. In fact, 69 percent of respondents agree with the statement that “brands need to do a better job of earning consumers’ trust.”

Among the survey’s key findings:

  • Trust outweighs product pricing: 71 percent of consumers said they would pay more money to support a brand they trust.
  • Trust ensures customer retention and brand loyalty: 82 percent of survey respondents stated they tend to stick to the brands they trust the most.
  • Customer loyalty can be lost quickly: 68 percent of respondents agreed that even if a brand lets them down just once, it is hard for them to trust it enough to continue to purchase it in the future.
  • Millennials are more likely to engage with brands they trust: 69 percent of Millennials reported that they trust brands that value their contribution and feedback.
  • Millennials have high expectations of brands: 68 percent of Millennials feel that brands they use the most must make a real difference in their lives vs. 60 percent of overall participants who stated as such.

“Trust has always been one of the most essential values we maintain at Reader’s Digest,” states Lee Zellweger, publisher. “This program enables us to understand how trust impacts consumer behavior and why it is critical that brands work diligently now more than ever to protect the trust they have built between themselves and their consumers.”

Zellweger adds that “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 Trusted Brand® for 2018 are the following:

Allergy Relief Claritin
Cold & Flu Remedy NyQuil
Headache/Pain Reliever Tylenol
Vitamin Centrum
Hybrid/Electric Car Toyota
Car Toyota
SUV/Crossover Toyota
Truck/Van Ford
Body Lotion/Moisturizer Aveeno
Eye-Care Product Visine
Mouthwash Listerine
Soap/Body Wash Dove
Anti-Aging Skin Care Olay
Incontinence Product Depend
Feminine Product Always
Coffee Folgers
Cold Cereal Kellogg’s
Hot Cereal Quaker
Nutrition Bar Clif Bar
Salad Dressing Kraft
Nondairy Milk Silk
Cat Food Purina
Dog Food Purina
Pet Treat Milk-Bone
Washer/Dryer Maytag
Large Kitchen Appliance General Electric
Interior Paint Behr
Home Improvement Store Home Depot
Pharmacy/Drug Store CVS Pharmacy
Mass Merchandiser Retail Store Walmart
Laundry Detergent Tide
Bathroom Cleaner Lysol
Life Insurance MetLife
Health Insurance Blue Cross Blue Shield
Retirement Investment Service Fidelity
Wireless Provider Verizon
Cruise Line Carnival
Credit Card Visa
Hotel/Resort Hilton
Weight Loss System Weight Watchers

About the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand® Survey:

The survey first launched in Asia in 2000 and since then 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 Brand® survey provides consumers with the ability to share their knowledge about and recommendations for the brands and products they trust most. The online survey of over 5,550 consumers 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 Brand® can be found in the publication’s June issue, which goes on sale May 15 and online at RD Trusted Brands.

About the Survey:

These are findings from an Ipsos Connect study conducted for Reader’s Digest from October 23 to November 8, 2017. For the survey, a sample of 5,502 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, 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: FacebookTwitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.

About Trusted Media Brands

Trusted Media Brands is a visionary, brand-driven multiplatform media company, home to iconic brands like Taste of Home, the world’s largest circulation food media brand; Reader’s Digest; The Family Handyman, America’s leading source for DIY; a suite of highly-targeted brands including Birds & Blooms, Country, Country Woman, Farm & Ranch Living and Reminisce; and digital properties which include the Taste Community and Haven Home Media.

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


For Trusted Media Brands:
Patrick Taylor, 917-653-4785
Sr. Communications Advisor
Dana Casalino


For Trusted Media Brands:
Patrick Taylor, 917-653-4785
Sr. Communications Advisor
Dana Casalino