The consumer goods industry placed in the top third of industries studied, ranking #5 out of 15 in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2018 Report, which is the largest study of brands based on emotions. Quaker came in first in the industry, followed by Hershey’s and Campbell’s. The remaining brands in the Top 10 for the consumer goods industry were: Kellogg’s, Stouffer’s, Betty Crocker, Ben & Jerry’s, Nabisco, Pillsbury and Heinz.

Brand Intimacy is defined as a new paradigm that leverages and strengthens the emotional bonds between a person and a brand. For the third year, MBLM’s study revealed that top intimate brands in the U.S. surpassed the top brands in the Fortune 500 and S&P indices in revenue and profit over the past 10 years.

“The top three companies in the industry were all founded in the 1800s, and nostalgia is the dominant archetype in the category. This demonstrates the strong emotional connections we establish with food brands in childhood, and how it still impacts us as adults,” stated Mario Natarelli, managing partner at MBLM. “However, newcomers can take notice of Ben & Jerry’s, which is a young company in comparison, and continues to perform well. The brand is progressive and appeals to many consumers because of its boldness and the shared values it projects related to sustainability and politics, establishing reciprocal bonds.”

Other noteworthy consumer goods findings in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2018 Report include:

  • The category’s Brand Intimacy Quotient was 34.1, which was well above the industry average of 27.1
  • Nostalgia, which focuses on memories and the feelings associated with them, was the most prominent archetype in the category, and Quaker was the top-performing consumer goods brand for nostalgia
  • Quaker was also the top brand in the category and ranked #1 for both men and women as well as for millennials
  • Moreover, Quaker ranked #1 for having the highest percentage of customers in fusing, the most advanced stage of Brand Intimacy
  • Consumers aged 35–44 preferred Hershey’s, whereas Kellogg’s ranked #1 for people whose annual incomes exceed $100,000
  • Stouffer’s and Quaker improved their intimacy scores since last year, while Lay’s and Hershey’s declined in this year’s rankings.

To view the consumer goods industry findings, please click here. The full Brand Intimacy 2018 Report and the Ranking Tool can be found here.

This year’s report contains the most comprehensive rankings of brands based on emotion, analyzing the responses of 6,000 consumers and 54,000 brand evaluations across 15 industries in the U.S., Mexico and UAE. MBLM’s reports and interactive Brand Ranking Tool showcase the performance of almost 400 brands, revealing the characteristics and intensity of the consumer bonds.



During 2017, MBLM conducted an online quantitative survey among 6,000 consumers in the United States (3,000), Mexico (2,000), and the United Arab Emirates (1,000). Participants were respondents who were screened for age (i.e. 18 to 64 years of age) and annual household income ($35,000 or more) in the U.S. and socioeconomic levels in Mexico and the UAE (A, B, and C socioeconomic levels). Quotas were established to ensure that the sample mirrored census data for age, gender, income/socioeconomic level, and region. The survey was designed primarily to understand the extent to which consumers have relationships with brands and the strength of those relationships, from fairly detached to highly intimate. It is important to note that this study provides more than a mere ranking of brand performance and was specifically designed to provide prescriptive guidance to marketers. We modeled data from a total of 54,000 brand evaluations to quantify the mechanisms that drive intimacy. Through factor analysis, structural equation modeling, and other sophisticated analytic techniques, the research allows marketers to better understand which levers need to be pulled to build intimacy between brands and consumers.

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