Cadbury and Pringles are Generation Y’s most liked grocery brands, report shows

Best in Class

Best in Class

Food and drink dominate the most liked brands amongst 16-34 year olds, accounting for seven of the top 10 and 13 of the top 20, according to a new report, Generation Y and Brand Loyalty, from w00t! Media.

The report, which looks at the changing relationships Britons have with brands as they age from 16 to 34, reveals FMCG brands and grocery retailers account for over half (52) of the 100 most liked brands.

Cadbury (liked by 82%) beat Amazon (78%) as the most liked brand while Pringles, Walkers and Heinz (all 74%), Coca-Cola, (73%), Galaxy (71%) and Kellogg’s (70%) all rank in the top 10. 

Dan McDevitt, w00t! Media’s joint managing director, said: “Despite all the media attention given to internet, technology and mobile brands, the top 100 overall shows Generation Y remain most fond of traditional grocery brands which account for over half the entire list.”

Top 100 by category

Top 100 by category

Most liked brands by category

Cadbury, Pringles and Walkers are the top three food brands whilst Robinsons (58%, ranked 22nd overall) and Pepsi (57%) followed Coca-Cola in the drinks sector. Smirnoff leads the way amongst alcohol brands (47%) ahead of Baileys (36%) and Jack Daniels (34%).

Colgate (58%, 23rd) is the most liked personal care brand followed by Gillette (45%) and Dove (43%).

Tesco is the most liked grocery retailer (59%, 21st overall) ahead of Sainsbury’s (53%) and Asda (50%). Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Co-operative all appeared in the top 100, leaving Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl and Iceland as the only top 10 supermarkets – by Nielsen market share – not in the list.

Why brands appeal

Quality (cited by 72%) and how the product performs versus the competition (67%) are the major reasons why brands appeal to 16-34 year olds. Six in 10 say it’s because the brand fits their own personality while ‘what the company represents appeals’ and the ‘price being fair’ are both cited by half of 16-34 year olds.

McDevitt said: “Regardless of age, two common denominators emerged about why brands appeal to Generation Y – the product’s perceived quality and performance. These ‘functional’ reasons run counter-intuitive to those who believe young adults are preoccupied with simply jumping onto the next big thing.”

How brand preferences change from 16 to 34

The report identifies three life-stages within Generation Y and how brand preferences change. The ‘all about me’ stage are typically 16-21 years and only need to consider brands for themselves, not having to buy for partners or kids; Snacks along with fashion and the internet dominate their most liked brands. 

The ‘all about us’ stage are typically 21-30 and becoming independent – moving into their first home, moving in with a partner or stepping onto the career ladder. The most liked brands here start to include more alcohol, retailer and household grocery brands such as Colgate and Waitrose. 

The ‘all about them’ stage are 25-34 years old and are accountable to other considerations such as a partner, children or a mortgage – which trump initial personal preferences. Their brand repertoire grows considerably and more family-orientated brands such as Johnsons, Warburtons and Kellogg’s appear. Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Asda also feature here. 

McDevitt said: “Despite being subject to the biggest life changes, no other age group is treated as such a homogenised unit by advertisers and the media as 16-34s. The study reveals how Generation Y’s relationships with brands change considerably as they move through these very different life stages.” 

Generation Y (16-34 year olds) top 25 most liked grocery brands

Grocery Rank Brand % Liked Sector Overall Rank
1 Cadbury 82% Food 1
2 Pringles 74% Food 3
3 Walkers 74% Food 4
4 Heinz   74% Food 5
5 Coca Cola   73% Drinks 7
6 Galaxy  71% Food 8
7 Kellogg’s 70% Food 9
8 Kit Kat 69% Food 11
9 Maltesers   68% Food 13
10 Ben & Jerry’s   67% Food 15
11 McVities 65% Food 17
12 Nestle 64% Food 18
13 Mars 61% Food 20
14 Tesco   59% Retail 21
15 Robinsons   58% Drinks 22
16 Colgate 58% Personal care/h’hold 23
17 Pepsi   57% Drinks 27
18 Fanta   56% Drinks 28
19 Muller 55% Food 30
20 Warburtons  54% Food 31
21 Hovis   54% Food 32
22 Haagen-Dazs 53% Food 34
23 Sainsbury’s  53% Retail 35
24 Kettle Chips 53% Food 37
25 Asda 50% Retail 39

Source: w00t! Media Generation Y and Brand Loyalty report