The consumer goods industry ranked high, placing fifth out of the 15 industries studied in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2019 Study, which is the largest study of brands based on emotion. Brand Intimacy is defined as the emotional science that measures the bonds we form with the brands we use and love. This positive performance corresponds to an increase in industry sales, which was estimated at $800 billion in 2018, growing from $786 billion in 2017.[1] Hershey’s, the #1 ranked brand in consumer goods, also showed strong first quarter 2019 financial results, with consolidated net sales of $2,0165 million, an increase of 2.3%.[2] Additionally consumer goods was the top performing industry in the ‘willing to pay 20% more’ category in the Brand Intimacy study, demonstrating compelling price resilience.


“Building stronger emotional bonds with consumers doesn’t just make marketing sense, it correlates to stronger business performance,” stated Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM. “Top intimate brands outperformed the top brands in the Fortune 500 and S&P indices in both revenue and profit over the past 10 years. Brand Intimacy will increasingly become part of the vocabulary of businesses as they seek ways to increase ROI.”


According to MBLM’s study, Hershey’s ranked first in the industry, followed by Campbell and Quaker. The top 10 was rounded out by: Betty Crocker, Ben & Jerry’s, Nestle, Kellogg’s, Pillsbury, Stouffer’s and Lay’s.


Additional noteworthy findings on the consumer goods industry include:

  • Consumer goods ranked the same overall as last year but the average Brand Intimacy Quotient rose from 34.1 to 39.0, which was well above the 2019 cross-industry average of 31.0
  • Nostalgia, which focuses on memories and the feelings associated with them, was the most prominent archetype in the category
  • Hershey’s was the top-performing consumer goods brand for nostalgia
  • Hershey’s also ranked #1 for millennials, whereas users ages 35-64 all selected Quaker as their top brand
  • Women selected Betty Crocker as #1, while men selected Hershey’s. The brand is particularly strong with men, who ranked Hershey’s 9th in the overall study
  • Ben & Jerry’s and Campbell rose in the rankings since 2018, while Quaker and Kellogg’s fell


MBLM also released a piece examining Hershey’s and its performance as the top brand in the industry. The piece, “How Sweet It Is,” discusses the strong emotional appeal of the brand, which is associated with our childhood moments of indulgence and also continues to be relevant across different demographics. In 2019, Hershey’s improved across all six archetypes, which are patterns that identify the character and nature of ultimate brand relationships, performing very well in nostalgia and indulgence. The brand, however, needs to cultivate stronger connections with new users, and increase the percentage of consumers intimate with the brand. It may be attempting to do so with its summer redesign of the iconic milk chocolate bar as well as its focus on simpler ingredients. It will be interesting to see how these initiatives impact its strengths related to nostalgia and indulgence.


To view consumer goods industry findings, please click here. MBLM also hosted a webinar on the industry, a recording of it can be found here. Additionally, MBLM offers Custom Dashboards providing extensive data for brands included in its annual Brand Intimacy Study. To download the full Brand Intimacy 2019 Study or explore the Data Dashboard click here.

[1]  TreVista

[2] The Hershey Company Press Release

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