Reader’s Digest Reveals Most Trusted Brands in Canada for 2020

Nine in Ten Canadians (92%) Tend to Buy from Companies They Trust More

The author(s)
  • Mitra Thompson Senior Account Manager, Canada, Public Affairs
  • Sean Simpson SVP, Canada, Public Affairs
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Toronto, Ontario, February 3, 2020 — As a new decade gets underway, Canadians’ shopping decisions will be influenced by the brands they trust most. The latest Most Trusted Brands survey, run annually by Ipsos for Reader’s Digest, looks at 31 product and service categories to uncover which brands Canadians trust most. To be crowned “Most Trusted Brand” with its category, a brand must receive a statistically significantly higher number of mentions than any other brand in that category on an open-ended basis.

Some of the winning brands for 2020 include:

Food and Beverage:

  • Breakfast Cereal: Kellogg’s
  • Tea: Tetley
  • Bottled Water: Nestlé
  • Sparkling Water: Perrier

Consumer Packaged Goods:

  • Sensitive Skin/Dry Skin Lotion: Aveeno
  • Pads/Liners: Always
  • Incontinence Product: Depend
  • Interior Paint: Behr
  • Exterior Paint: Behr
  • Exterior Stain: Behr
  • Pet Food: Purina


  • Arthritis Pain Reliever: Tylenol
  • Allergy Reliever: Reactine, Claritin
  • Cold Symptom Reliever: Tylenol
  • Headache Pain Reliever: Tylenol


  • Hybrid Car Manufacturer: Toyota
  • Passenger Car Manufacturer: Toyota


  • Automobile Insurance Company: Intact
  • Home Insurance Company: Intact
  • Health and Dental Insurance Company: Blue Cross, Sun Life Financial


  • Home Improvement Retailer: The Home Depot
  • Pharmacy/Drug Store: Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix
  • Beauty Retailer: Sephora

A full list of the winning brands can be found at

Trust Matters

In a crowded market environment where a dizzying number of brands are competing for consumer choice, trust is nearly always what settles the decision for Canadians looking to buy something new. Nine in ten (92%) agree (35% strongly/56% somewhat) that when a product or service’s quality and price are similar, they tend to buy the product or service from the company they trust more. This extends to companies in general, not just brands – nearly nine in ten (88%) agree (31% strongly/58% somewhat) they are more likely to invest their money in a company that they trust.

Indeed, price isn’t everything: less than half of Canadians (48%) admit to buying items solely based on their price – Albertans (51%) and Ontarians (49%) being the most likely and British Columbians (43%) the least likely to do so.

Put differently, trust matters to Canadians: the overwhelming majority – nine in ten (89%) agree (29% strongly/60% somewhat) that it is important to them to trust the companies that they support. Trust impacts consumer interactions with brands in a variety of other ways, with a majority agreeing that:

  • They’d be more willing to work for a company they trust (92%; 39% strongly/53% somewhat);
  • They pay more attention to companies they trust (86%; 23% strongly/63% somewhat);
  • When they trust a company, they tend to recommend its product or service to their friends and family (83%; 25% strongly/58% somewhat);
  • They’ll pay a little more money to support a product or service from a company they trust (77%; 18% strongly/60% somewhat);
  • They’re more likely to remember advertisements from companies or brands they trust (73%; 15% strongly/58% somewhat);
  • They trust third party recognition of products and services such as awards or seals of excellence (59%; 7% strongly/52% somewhat).

Trust breeds loyalty to brands that Canadians know best, even when things go wrong. Most (91%) agree (36% strongly/55% somewhat) that they trust a company that will stand behind their products, and eight in ten (82%) agree (22% strongly/60% somewhat) they are very loyal to the brands and companies that they support. This is evidenced by a majority (79%) agreeing (20% strongly/59% somewhat) that they are more likely to trust a company that announces product recalls.

What’s clear, however, is that while it’s not all about price, what companies do with consumers’ money has a direct impact on their level of trust. For instance, nine in ten (90%) agree (49% strongly/41% somewhat) they are less likely to trust products or services that have hidden costs. Conversely, a strong majority (85%) also agree (27% strongly/58% somewhat) they are more likely to trust a company that offers a money-back guarantee.

Word of mouth plays a key role in giving consumers the inside scoop on these and other features of the brands they want to buy. Many Canadians seek out this type of information online, which makes online reviews a critical point of brand exposure for consumers. A majority – six in ten (62%) – agree (9% strongly/53% somewhat) they trust online consumer reviews or ratings of products and services.

When it comes to online influencers, Canadians are noticeably less trusting. Nonetheless, more than one in three (37%) agree (5% strongly/32% somewhat) that they trust online influencer reviews of products and services.  


About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between September 3-18, 2019, on behalf of Reader’s Digest. For this survey, a sample of 4,005 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online via the Ipsos I-Say panel, including 1,002 French-speaking respondents. Quota sampling and weighting were employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the overall poll is accurate to within ±1.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The sample of 1,002 French-speaking respondents has an associated credibility interval of ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

Winning brands are determined by unprompted, open-ended votes and confirmed to be statistically significant from the next brand(s). Any categories where the winning brand is not significantly different from the other brands is considered a tie. A follow-up survey was conducted where the tied brands were put against each other, prompted, and the winning brand was identified from the runoff. If one brand’s votes were statistically significantly higher than the other’s, it was declared the winner – otherwise it remained a tie.

For more information on this Factum, please contact:

Mitra Thompson
Senior Account Manager, Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 514 904 4329
[email protected]

Sean Simpson
Vice President, Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 416 324 2002
[email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

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The author(s)
  • Mitra Thompson Senior Account Manager, Canada, Public Affairs
  • Sean Simpson SVP, Canada, Public Affairs