Trust in Business: Is the rising tide lifting all boats?

While 14 of 21 sectors improved their trust scores among Canadians, 4 did decline. Discover where your brand ranks.

The author(s)

  • Mike Colledge President, Canada, Public Affairs
  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs
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While the news that trust is up is good for business generally, a few sectors are struggling. Our annual Ipsos Canadian Reputation Study showed that 14 of 21 sectors improved their trust scores, while only 4 declined. The remaining 3 sectors were either unchanged, or new to the study this year.

The award for most-improved sector goes to the oil and gas sector, with the companies comprised within this sector increasing their trust scores by an impressive 6.5 percentage points, on average, over last year. These companies and brands include: Direct Energy, Enbridge, Imperial Oil (Esso), Petro-Canada, Shell and Suncor. Despite rising concerns over climate change and heavy media coverage about Canada’s inability to get its energy to new markets, the sector has managed to improve its image among Canadians.

Also improving by a significant amount over last year include: Breweries (trust up 4 points on average), including Labatt and Molson and Insurance (trust up 3.75 points on average), including Great West Life, Intact, Manulife and SunLife.

Given that most sectors have been able to improve their trust scores, it is interesting to note that 3 out of the 4 sectors who have declined in the past year are food related:

  • Quick serve restaurants (trust down by 2 points on average), including McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway, Tim Horton’s, Wendy’s and A&W.
  • Food companies/brands (trust down by 1.57 points on average), including Campbell’s, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Kraft Heinz, Maple Leaf Foods, President’s Choice, Weston, Frito Lay, Quaker and Mondelez.
  • Grocery (trust down by 1 point on average), including Loblaws, Metro and Sobeys.

It has been a difficult year for many food companies, with product recalls, price-fixing, plant closures, a perceived lack of focus on health and wellness, rising prices and other high-profile media stories drawing negative attention to the industry. While some brands have been impacted more than others (one is down 10 points year over year), the industry clearly has some work to do to earn back the trust of Canadians.

If you are interested in learning more about the Ipsos Canadian Reputation Study, please contact us.

The author(s)

  • Mike Colledge President, Canada, Public Affairs
  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs

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