Trust In Supermarkets Plummets As Bunnings Is Crowned Australia’s Most Trusted Brand

Trust In Supermarkets Plummets As Bunnings Is Crowned Australia’s Most Trusted Brand
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

Bunnings was crowned the most trusted brand in the 12 months to December 2023, dethroning Woolworths and breaking the supermarket’s three-and-a-half-year stronghold. Coles fell from third to fifth place.

Bunnings lost its title as Australia’s most trusted brand to Woolworths in May 2020. However, since October 2022, Bunnings has shown a strong recovery, achieving the largest improvement in trust among all trusted brands.

“Bunnings is a brand with a vast reservoir of goodwill and reputational strength fed by dramatically more trust than distrust… its trust has been climbing steadily over the past year while its minimal distrust remains fairly stable,” said Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine.

Australians’ distrust in companies has grown in the last year, with reasons including corporate greed, poor customer service, unaffordable prices, dishonesty, unethical practices, and poor privacy practices.

Bunnings has managed to buck the trend against an economic environment where trust has eroded. “Bunnings has harnessed many of the foundational pillars of a trusted brand including great customer service, communicating what it stands for and delivering, being an active part of the community, solving customer’s problems and expertise and product knowledge,” said Levine.

Most Trusted Brands












Both major supermarkets have fallen among trusted brands, with Woolworths (2nd) slipping one place and Coles (5th) two places. ALDI (3rd), Kmart (4th) and Bunnings (1st) each rose by one place.

Within the top 20, Bendigo Bank (15th) was the only brand to move up two spots, widening the gap against ING (18th) and Commonwealth Bank (19th). The ABC (17th) dropped two rankings, and QBE (128th) and SBS (93rd) dropped 26 and 23 places, respectively.

“QBE has been accused of lifting premiums while simultaneously locking in so-called ‘lowball’ pandemic payouts. The insurer is also facing the Federal Court for allegedly telling brokers to ignore a court ruling to contact clients to ask if they needed to lodge a claim for pandemic loss,” said Levine, speaking on QBE.

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Telecommunications company Optus remains the most distrusted brand in Australia. It is followed by social media giant (and former and long-standing most distrusted brand) Facebook/Meta, embattled airline Qantas, private health insurer Medibank and media giant News Corp. All four have faced significant scandals in recent years, including content policies and moderation, widespread data breaches and allegations of profiteering.

In positive news, technology companies Google (20th), Huawei (60th), and Uber (39th) improved their positions by 7, 11 and 8 places, respectively. Qantas (3rd) is showing signs of recovery despite deep distrust.

“The Big Four banks were showing significant improvements in their trust and distrust scores, but by year’s end, we saw dramatic declines. ANZ is the biggest loser, jumping 18 distrust rankings to land at number 15 on the top twenty list of most distrusted brands in Australia. NAB jumped 19 places, but as the nation’s 71st most distrusted brand is in much better shape than ANZ,” Levine said.

On the backdrop of cost-of-living concerns, more Australians cite excessive profit motives and unaffordable prices as reasons for distrusting companies.

Trust in banks has deteriorated due to successive interest rate rises and rising cost-of-living concerns. Australians cite excessive profit motives and unaffordable prices as reasons for their distrust, with banks bearing much of this criticism.

“Soaring distrust from executives behaving appallingly and even corruptly has brought the entire economy into Net Distrust territory. The Moral Blindness exhibited has contributed to a kind of national fragility,” Levine said.

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Bunnings Coles Optus Roy Morgan Woolworths

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