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When it comes to New Zealand’s most trusted brand, Whittaker’s is again the best on the block.

Whittaker’s has been voted by New Zealanders as the Most Trusted of all Brands in the annual 2020 Reader’s Digest survey. It’s the ninth consecutive year the iconic chocolate brand has won the overall title.

Whittaker’s, which has been “crafting NZ’s finest chocolate since 1896,” has also been confectionery category winner every year since 2011, as well as winner of the NZ Iconic Brand accolade since 2013. That’s according to the results, released today, of the Reader’s Digest-commissioned survey conducted by Catalyst Research.

Reader’s Digest Australasian editor-in-chief Louise Waterson says nine consecutive years as a Trusted Brands superstar is an amazing result and unprecedented across the Australasia region.

The annual Reader’s Digest Survey is in its 21st year and has grown over the years to include 69 categories of products and services, reflecting a broad range of industries. A total of 1601 New Zealanders from a broad demographic were asked to select three of their most trusted brands for each category. They then rated those brands on the 1-10 scale for trust.

Ms Waterson says being considered so trustworthy comes with responsibilities. Maintaining a top rank involves a genuine commitment to protect and fulfil the promises made to the consumer, she says.

It appears many NZ companies are comfortable with that commitment; Whittaker’s is far from the only NZ brand to win the right to a podium placing over many consecutive years. Others noted by New Zealanders for consistently being genuine, authentic and reliable include Panadol as 11- time winners, as well as Dettol, Healtheries and AA Insurance – which are all 10-time winners in their respective categories. Resene is a ninth-time winner; Harcourts has taken top spot for all eight years its category has been included in the survey; and Ryman Health Care has scored top place six years out of seven in its sector. St John New Zealand (Most Trusted charity), G.J. Gardner, Yates, Sleepyhead, and Cavalier Bremworth are examples of other repeated winners.

Some brands join Whittaker’s in scoring more than one award each year. Fisher & Paykel, for example, has cleaned up the Laundry Appliance category, as well as the Large Kitchen Appliances and Cooking Appliances categories.

The 2020 category winners are as follows:
Aged Care & Retirement Villages – Ryman Healthcare; Banks – Kiwibank; BBQs – Weber; Beds– Sleepyhead; Bicycles – Avanti; Biscuits – Griffins; Bread – Vogels; Breakfast food – Sanitarium; Cars – Toyota; Car care products – Turtle Wax; Car rental companies – Avis; Carpet– Cavalier Bremworth; Charities – St John New Zealand; Cheese – Mainland; Cleaning products– Dettol; Coffee machines – Breville; Confectionery – Whittaker’s; Cooking appliances – Fisher & Paykel; Cooking Stocks – Campbell’s Real Stock; Crackers – Huntley & Palmers; Digital cameras – Canon; DIY power tools (drills, saws, sanders etc) – Bosch; Dog food – Tux (Purina); Electronics (TV & home entertainment) – Samsung; Fruit & herbal tea – Dilmah; Garages & sleepouts – Versatile Homes & Buildings; Garden power tools (hedge trimmers, chainsaws etc) – Stihl; Electrical appliance stores – Noel Leeming; Gardening products (seeds, fertilisers, soils etc) – Yates; General insurance (home, contents, car) – AA Insurance; Glues & construction adhesives – Selleys; Hair care – Head & Shoulders; Health insurance – Southern Cross Health Society; Hearing services – Bay Audiology; Heat pumps – Fujitsu; Home builders – G.J. Gardner; Home improvement stores – Mitre 10; Ice cream – Tip Top; Jewellers – Michael Hill Jeweller; Kitchen designer and manufacturers – Kitchen Studio; Large kitchen appliances – Fisher & Paykel; Laundry appliances – Fisher & Paykel; Laundry detergent  – Persil; Lawnmowers – Masport; Life insurance – AA Life; Manufacturer certified used car sales – Toyota Signature Class; Marine engine – Yamaha; Milk – Anchor; Kindergarten centre operators – BestStart; Muesli & snacks – Nice & Natural; NZ Wines – Villa Maria; Optometrists – Specsavers; Pain relief – Panadol; Paint – Resene; Real estate agencies – Harcourts; Retailer (excluding supermarkets and home improvement stores) – The Warehouse; Sealants & fillers – Selleys; Skin care (anti-ageing) Nivea; Small kitchen appliances – Breville; Supermarket / home brand – Pams; Supermarkets – Pak’nSave; Tea – Dilmah; Tyres – Bridgestone; Vacuum cleaners – Dyson; Vegetarian food – Lisa’s Hummus; Vitamin & Supplements – Healtheries; Soups – Watties; Used vehicle dealership – Turners.  NZ iconic brands – Whittaker’s.

Highly commended ratings were also acknowledged in the survey. Each category contains one winning, and two highly commended brands. These brands scored higher in their respective categories than the other brands polled. Those receiving highly commended plaudits include: AMI and State; Summerset Retirement Villages; Kapiti (ice cream); Lockwood; Nikon (digital cameras); and Dilworth Hearing. There are those receiving this accolade for the first time – for example, Lewis Road Creamery (milk), Rhino Carpet and Enterprise Motor Group, and at the other end of the spectrum – Blackmores (vitamins and supplements), which has featured 10 times.

For the full Trusted Brands survey results see They also feature in the May edition of Reader’s Digest magazine.