- Goya jumped five spots to reach the No. 2 spot in Engagement Labs' TotalSocial ranking of how food brands are faring in face-to-face (offline) and social media (online) conversations, per a news release. Pillsbury moved from thirteenth place to No. 5, thanks to its success in driving offline conversations.
- Betty Crocker topped the list. However, its parent company General Mills saw the biggest decline in the category and fell out of the top 10 because of a drop in offline influence and brand sharing, a measure of how much consumers are talking about a brand's marketing campaigns face-to-face.
- The brands filling out the top 10 rankings include Hershey's at No. 3 and Perdue Chicken at No. 4. Oreo, Quaker Oats, Doritos, Cheerios and Frito-Lay were ranked sixth to 10th, respectively.
The TotalSocial ranking highlights how consumers are becoming more conscious of what their favorite brands stand for beyond a specific product, with Goya moving into second place being attributed to a couple of cause-driven campaigns that resonated with consumers and got people talking online and offline.
Consumers are more likely to purchase from brands that support important social causes, and the brands that embrace a purpose can see brand growth and increased chatter on and offline, something Goya discovered. Through its Goya Gives program, the company donated 1 billion pounds of supplies to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in September. Goya also worked with food bloggers to promote its meat-free recipes for Meatless Monday as part of its "Can Do" program that donates to Feeding America.
Pillsbury continues to generate buzz with the re-launch of the "Pillsbury Bake-Off" competition announced in February that includes a partnership with Food Network star Ree Drummond. In April, Pillsbury was also rated the most "talkworthy" brand online in Engagement Labs' TotalSocial Brand Awards for Brand Sharing for its bake-off, which the CPG brand widely promoted on social media and digital channels.
General Mills dropping out of the top 10 and Quaker Oats falling to seventh place from its No. 1 in the last ranking is in line with a larger trend of consumers choosing healthier breakfast foods over sugary cereals. General Mills has also seen sluggish sales as it has struggled to keep up with consumers evolving tastes.
Cereal brands could encourage more conversations and engagement by shifting their marketing away from a breakfast focus and targeting children to campaigns centered on snacking and targeting millennials. Forty-three percent of adults eat cereal as a snack, and a third of those choose cereal based on taste rather than nutrition, according to research from Mintel, cited by CBS News.