Corporate Eye

Beer and Comfort Foods Top Consumer Satisfaction Index

hersheysThe quarterly American Customer Satisfaction Index was released this week and the economy is clearly still having a significant effect on consumers’ feelings about products and brands.  Some of the top categories in the study are:

  • Soft drink companies with a score of 85 out of 100.
  • Beer manufacturers with a score of 84 out of 100.
  • Food companies with a score of 83 out of 100 (candy and chocolate companies ranked highest in this category).

It’s not surprising that during difficult economic times, people turn to comfort foods and brands, as well as alcohol.  These are fairly common behaviors, and food, soft drink and beer companies are likely to capitalize on those behaviors.  The question is whether or not the high satisfaction numbers will continue when the economy eventually recovers.

On the flip side, cigarette manufacturers saw a 7.7% drop in satisfaction scores from the previous year to just 72.  It’s suggested that the drop is directly related to higher taxes imposed by the U.S. government on tobacco products, and it’s unlikely those taxes are going to change anytime soon.  Truth be told, I think there are far more factors that caused the satisfaction index to drop for cigarette manufacturers, but this post is neither the time nor place to debate smoking.

Looking at these statistics one might say, “okay, Americans are fat drunks who are mad that cigarettes cost so much — not a big revelation.”  Perhaps there is some truth in that statement, but is that so wrong?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to drink a Diet Coke and eat a candy bar.

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.