Comfort foods provide satisfaction amidst gloom

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 18th November 2009

The recession has boosted the satisfaction rating of manufacturers that produce comfort foods such as chocolate, the American Consumer Satisfaction Index revealed today (17 November).

While ketchup maker Heinz topped the list for the tenth year running with the highest level of consumer satisfaction at 89%, confectioners were among the biggest gainers.

Nestle and Hershey both pushed their satisfaction levels up by 2%, rising to 85% and 87% respectively. Meanwhile, Mars gained 1%, also rising to 87%.

“The same thing happened in 2001 in the midst of the previous recession and also in 2004 when concern over the Iraq war and rising fuel prices appeared to be reflected in higher satisfaction with comfort foods,” said Professor Claes Fornell, founder of the ACSI and author of The Satisfied Customer.

Meanwhile, ConAgra Foods posted a fall to 7%, taking it to the bottom of the industry in terms of consumer satisfaction and matching the biggest drop ever for any company in the food industry.

During the period, ACSI said ConAgra’s satisfaction levels were negatively impacted because it raised prices on its Banquet frozen dinners line and cut costs in “other areas” that have had a negative impact on satisfaction.

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