RQ 2018: Supermarkets Are the New Superstars in Corporate Reputation Thanks to Their Rising Status

Supermarkets topped The Harris Poll’s 2018 Reputation Quotient list. Brands such as Wegmans (#2), Publix Super Markets (#8), Costco (#17) and The Kroger Company (#18) earned excellent or very good scores in the ranking of 100 companies. While others like HEB Grocery debuted on the list at #6.

Their outstanding scores show that consumers appreciate companies that embody main-street values. In a divisive sociopolitical landscape, shoppers are turning to brands in their backyards that offer an escape from the chaos and provide a sense of comfort and belonging. Brands bridging the partisan divide and serving all members of their communities. These are not only spaces close to home that consumers know and trust, but stores that offer them comfort food, nurturing products that suggest warmth and safety, which could explain why brands typically carried by supermarkets such as Kraft Heinz (#13), Kellogg’s (#14) and General Mills (#13) also landed excellent or very good scores. The supermarkets and comfort brands even beat tech giants like Facebook and Uber.

The RQ study ranked companies based on their reputation in six different categories: Emotional Appeal, Products & Services, Social Responsibility, Vision & Leadership, Workplace Environment, and Financial Performance. For supermarkets, Wegmans made the top 10 lists in all six categories. While companies like Publix and HEB made the list for vision and leadership, emotional appeal, workplace environment and social responsibility. It’s understandable to see these two companies in almost all six categories, particularly for social responsibility as both brands teamed up last year to send aid to Floridians during Hurricane Irma.