Reader’s Digest Reveals Most Trusted Brands in Canada for 2021

Nine in Ten Canadians More Likely to Trust Companies that Take Steps to Protect Consumers from COVID-19 (86%); Tend to Buy from Companies They Trust More (92%)

The author(s)
  • Mitra Thompson Senior Account Manager, Canada, Public Affairs
  • Sean Simpson SVP, Canada, Public Affairs
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Toronto, Ontario, January 13, 2021 — Canadians have turned the page on a year without precedent, and while the pandemic is far from over, there are reasons to be optimistic for the start of a turnaround in 2021

In the current context, trust is more important than ever. The past year has seen Canadians experience product shortages, delivery delays, and safety concerns, forcing many to rethink the way they interact with the brands and businesses they rely on. A trusted brand implies a product, service, or business that Canadians know they can rely on in times of uncertainty: safe, dependable, effective.

The latest Most Trusted Brands survey, run annually by Ipsos for Reader’s Digest, looks at 33 product and service categories to uncover which brands Canadians trust most. To be crowned “Most Trusted BrandTM” within 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 2021 include:

Food and Beverage:

  • Tea: Tetley
  • Bottled Water: Nestlé
  • Sparkling Water: Perrier
  • Non-Dairy Beverage: Silk

Consumer Packaged Goods:

  • Disinfectant: Lysol
  • 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
  • Cold Symptom Reliever: Tylenol
  • Headache Pain Reliever: Tylenol
  • Pediatric Fever and Pain Reliever: Tylenol


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


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


  • Food Delivery Service: Skip the Dishes
  • Meal Kit Delivery Service: Hello Fresh
  • Cash-Back Rebate Company: Rakuten
  • Grill: Weber
  • Pharmacy / Drug Store: Shoppers Drug Mart / Pharmaprix
  • Beauty Retailer: Sephora

A full list of the winning brands can be found at


In Pandemic Times, Trust Matters More than Ever

The global pandemic has taught several hard lessons, including the vital role of a strong product supply chain in providing Canadians easy access to the products and services they depend on. The survey finds that trust in products and services was severely tested in 2020, with nearly half of Canadians (44%) agreeing (9% strongly/35% somewhat) that their trust in products and services has gone down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brands that focus on clearly communicating what they’re doing to address the pandemic have the best chance at rebuilding lost trust: nearly nine in ten Canadians (86%) agree (34% strongly/52% somewhat) they are more likely to trust a company that has taken steps to protect consumers from COVID-19. This also means being upfront about communicating when a potential safety risk occurs: more than eight in ten (84%) agree (32% strongly/52% somewhat) they are more likely to trust a company that publicly communicates when a COVID-19 case has been reported in one of its retail outlets.

Local businesses have struggled to stay afloat in the wake of enforced distancing measures and successive lockdowns, and the attachment that many feel to the businesses in their community explains why nine in ten Canadians (90%) say they’re more likely to support Canadian companies through the pandemic.


At Point of Purchase, Trust Often Tops Price

The pandemic has added an important layer of complexity to a crowded market environment where a dizzying number of brands are competing for consumer choice. In this context, trust is nearly always what settles the decision for Canadians looking to buy something new. Nine in ten (92%) agree (40% strongly/52% 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 – nine in ten (90%) agree (38% strongly/51% somewhat) they are more likely to invest their money in a company that they trust.

Indeed, price isn’t everything: only half of Canadians (50%) admit to buying items solely based on their price. However, what companies do with consumers’ money has a direct impact on their level of trust. For instance, a strong majority (86%) agree (32% strongly/54% somewhat) they are more likely to trust a company that offers a money-back guarantee.

Put differently, trust matters to Canadians: the overwhelming majority – nine in ten (91%) agree (36% strongly/54% 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 (93%; 46% strongly/46% somewhat);
  • They pay more attention to companies they trust (89%; 31% strongly/58% somewhat);
  • When they trust a company, they tend to recommend its product or service to their friends and family (84%; 32% strongly/52% somewhat);
  • They’ll pay a little more money to support a product or service from a company they trust (82%; 24% strongly/58% somewhat);
  • They trust third party recognition of products and services such as awards or seals of excellence (63%; 9% strongly/53% somewhat).

Trust breeds loyalty to brands that Canadians know best, even when things go wrong. Most (92%) agree (41% strongly/50% somewhat) that they trust a company that will stand behind their products, and eight in ten (84%) agree (28% strongly/55% somewhat) they are very loyal to the brands and companies that they support. Just as trust is reinforced when a business admits to a COVID-19 case in one of its retail outlets, a majority (81%) agree (25% strongly/56% somewhat) that they are more likely to trust a company that announces product recalls.

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 (63%) – agree (11% strongly/52% somewhat) they trust online consumer reviews or ratings of products and services.


About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between August 19 and September 3, 2020, on behalf of Reader’s Digest. For this survey, a sample of 4,001 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online via the Ipsos I-Say panel, including 1,000 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 1,000 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:

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

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

TM Trust Brand is a registered trademark of Reader’s Digest


About Ipsos

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

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

Consumer & Shopper