The 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.