For food producers, word of mouth was always an important way to spread news about a product. However, in a world that is becoming ever-more digital, social engagement is becoming more and more important. Engagement Labs recently released its first ever TotalSocial rankings for the top performing food brands in the U.S. to measure both social engagement and word of mouth conversations.
According to the rankings, Kellogg's, Hershey's and Heinz are the food brands with the strongest consumer engagement. Kellogg's had the strongest offline score, which measures a brand's ability to drive in-person conversations. Betty Crocker had the best online performance, with particularly high online sentiment, brand sharing and influence scores.
Pillsbury, General Mills, Betty Crocker, Dole, Quaker Oats, Goya Foods and Nestle rounded out the top ten. The TotalSocial data indicated that the food industry as a whole tends to perform equally online and in face-to-face conversations, but there is room for improvement in both areas. As CEO of Engagement Labs Ed Keller notes:
“When conducting our research, we examined each brand’s individual strengths and weaknesses, and found that many food brands are what we call ‘Whisper Brands.’ This means they perform below average, both online and offline, as compared to our full list of 500 brands. However, there are three brands that successfully pushed the limits—Kellogg’s, General Mills and Hershey’s—as ‘Conversation Commanders’ which perform above average both online and offline... These three brands each provide a unique blueprint for how food brands can succeed in leveraging social influence to drive results. Online and offline work in tandem with one another, and our data proves that, in order to drive business results, brands cannot solely rely on one over the other.”