Personal health concerns continue to drive brand trust

BrandSpark's Most Trusted Awards adds a slew of new categories informed by shifting consumer interests during COVID-19.

Healthy-foodAccording to the latest BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards, consumers are increasingly looking to local brands that offer health benefits.

The latest recipients of the annual awards program were voted on by 18,222 Canadian shoppers, dispensing awards in 186 product categories, 90 of which were first-time entrants that reflected the pandemic environment and the public’s increasing focus on at-home consumption and personal health.

This includes 33 new food and beverage categories, many of which get more granular into cooking and baking, such as cooking stocks, vinegar, cooking powders and different kinds of flour. But it also included other emerging categories, such as cannbis-infused beverages, canned seafood, non-alcoholic beer and non-dairy yogurt. In OTC and health, the 16 new categories included immune system support, creams for eczema and under the eyes, and beard oil.

With COVID lockdowns putting health top of mind in many regions of the country, the survey finds 84% of respondents believe that “there is a lot they can do with food and nutrition to prevent illness”, up six percentage points from last year.

Also, 70% of those surveyed believe they have a “great deal of control” over their future health, up four percentage points since January 2020.

These changes have benefited food and health brands striving to offer healthy options, like Maple Leaf (which won in fresh chicken) and Chosen Foods (which had the top avocado oil).

In food generally, with the proliferation of home cooks, Canadians have remained loyal to the leading brands that they trust to ensure their favourite recipes (and ones they are trying for the first time) are a success. Some wins in food staple categories include Lactalis’ Lactantia (butter), Robin Hood (all-purpose flour) and Campbell (cooking stock and broth).

Canadian brands like Yves Veggie Cuisine, Maple Leaf and Endy, meanwhile, were cited as beneficiaries of consumers prioritizing local product origin, while beauty brands disproportionately benefited from a move to premiumization, with 10% fewer shoppers in that category saying that price is the top factor in their purchase decisions.

But staying at home didn’t just result in people baking more. Many households have added “home comfort” appliances like humidifiers, air purifiers, fans and space heaters, and Canadians trusted Honeywell most for reliability and value across these four categories, instead of new, online-friendly competitors.

Despite the strength of established brands, having an accessible online presence emerged as an important driver of brand trust as millions of Canadians moved to ecommerce, with 37% more consumers making online purchases at least every two weeks, compared with 25% a year ago.

Innovation is also an important driver of trust in many categories and 71% of consumers say they are likely to try innovations from the brands they trust most.

“With the pandemic and fragile economy, consumers are more cautious about what they are bringing into their homes,” says Robert Levy, president and CEO of BrandSpark International. “So, right now, building a bridge of trust is more important than ever for brands.

Procter & Gamble brands had the most wins, with 20 in total. A selection of winners can be found below, with the full list on the BrandSpark website:


Baby Monitor – VTech
Baby Toys – Fisher Price
Baby Wash / Shampoo – Johnson’s Baby
Children’s Learning Toys – Fisher Price / VTech / LeapFrog (TIE)
Children’s Vitamins – Flintstones
Diapers – Pampers
Dolls – Barbie
Nipple Cream - Lansinoh
Nursing Pads – Lansinoh
Playpen/Playard – Graco


All-Purpose Flour – Robin Hood
Alternative Flour (Non-Wheat) – Bob’s Red Mill
Avocado Oil – Chosen Foods
Butter – Lactantia
Cannabis Infused Beverage -  Tweed
Canned Seafood – Clover Leaf
Chocolate – Lindt
Chocolate Chips – Hershey
Cocoa Powder – Fry’s
Coconut Water – Vita Coco
Cooking Stock/Broth – Campbell’s
Dairy Free Cheese – Daiya
Fresh Chicken – Maple Leaf
Frozen Fruit – President’s Choice
Frozen Pizza – Delissio / Dr. Oetker (TIE)
Frozen Vegetables – Green Giant
Honey – Billy Bee
Hot Sauce – Frank’s RedHot
Milk (Ontario) – Neilson
Milk (Quebec) – Québon
Milk (West) – Dairyland
Mustard – French’s
Non-Alcoholic Beer – Heineken
Non-Dairy Yogurt – Silk
Oat Milk – Earth’s Own
Pasta Sauce – Classico
Sausages – Johnsonville
Vegan Food – Yves Veggie Cuisine
White Vinegar – Heinz


Allergy Relief – Reactine
Anti-Aging Skin Care Products – Olay
Antibacterial Soap – Softsoap
Beard Oil – Bulldog / L’Oréal (TIE)
Cough Drops / Lozenges – Halls
Ear Pain Relief – Polysporin
Eczema Cream – Aveeno
Electric Toothbrush – Oral-B
Eye Cream – Olay / L’Oréal (TIE)
Immune System Support – Jamieson
Laxative – Senokot
Men’s Body Wash – Dove Men+Care
Men’s Skin Care – Dove Men+Care
Micellar Water – Garnier
Natural Cosmetics – Burt’s Bees
Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplements – Jamieson
Pregnancy Test – First Response
Probiotic Supplements – Jamieson
Salon/Professional Shampoo (Over $10) – Redken
Sensitive Toothpaste – Sensodyne
Shampoo & Conditioner (Men) - Head & Shoulders
Shampoo & Conditioner (Women) – Pantene
Sunscreen – Coppertone
Teeth Whitening – Crest
Toothpaste For Gum Health – Crest
Upset Stomach Relief – Pepto-Bismol
Women’s Body Wash – Dove


Air Purifier – Honeywell / Dyson (TIE)
Barbecue Grill – Weber
Blender – Ninja
Computer Monitor – Samsung / Dell (TIE)
Electric Fan – Honeywell / Dyson (TIE)
Food Processor – KitchenAid
Golf Clubs – TaylorMade
Humidifier – Honeywell
LED Light Bulbs – Philips
Mattress In A Box – Endy
Oven/Range – Samsung
Single Serve Coffee Maker – Keurig
Slow Cooker – Crock-Pot
Space Heater – Honeywell
Spring Mattress – Sealy
Stand Mixer – KitchenAid
Vacuum – Dyson
Washer / Dryer – Samsung / LG (TIE)


Air Freshener – Febreze
Bath & Shower Cleaner – Scrubbing Bubbles
Cat Food – Purina
Cat Treats – Whiskas
Dishwasher Detergent – Cascade
Disinfecting Wipes – Lysol
Dog Treats – Milk-Bone
Dryer Sheets – Bounce
Fabric Softener – Downy
Food Storage Bags – Ziploc
Food Storage Containers – Rubbermaid
Garbage Bags – Glad
Hand Sanitizer – Purell
Laundry Detergent – Tide
Laundry Scent Booster (In-Wash) – Downy
Laundry Wrinkle Protection – Bounce
Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Cleaner – Lysol
Premium Adult Dog Food – Purina (Pro Plan, ONE) / Royal Canin (TIE)
Sponges – Scotch Brite
Water Filtration (Pitchers & Bottles) – Brita