Hawke's Bay-founded Wattie's has slipped out of the top ten most-trusted brands, the annual Reader's Digest Most Trusted Brands survey reveals.

But Wattie's did place sixth in the Iconic New Zealand Brands category, making it the first time in at least six years the company had not won a category.

In 2010 Wattie's knocked Cadbury off the pedestal when it took out the overall title of New Zealand's Most Trusted Brand, which it held on to the following year as well.

But in 2012 it lost the title and instead picked up a first in the Most Trusted Iconic Brand category and maintained its position until 2014. Last year, Wattie's won Most Trusted Brand in the Frozen Foods category.


Despite failing to nab a top spot, a Wattie's spokesperson said they were confident the company remained among the most loved and influential food brands in New Zealand.

Wattie's congratulated the brands that featured and said: "Wattie's will continue to strive for excellence and the trust of consumers."

Wattie's began in 1934, when Sir James Wattie and friend Harold Carr noticed fresh produce was being wasted due to high transportation costs throughout the country.

They started supplying pulped gooseberries, plums and peaches.

For the fifth consecutive year, Whittaker's has trumped the competition, winning New Zealand's Most Trusted Brand. It was also voted Most Iconic New Zealand Brand and topped the Confectionery category. Samsung and Dettol took second and third place respectively.

The survey of 1214 New Zealand adults ranked New Zealand's top 10 trusted brands from 41 categories.

Reader's Digest Australasian managing editor Louise Waterson said winners had overcome the "crucial battle" to build a name and product people believed in.

"Many purchases are made with the heart and, even in this digital age, it's the brands which continue to offer quality and substance that hold our trust."

Those surveyed were asked what influenced them to trust a brand. They said reputation, customer service, reliability, cost effectiveness, quality, innovation, promise-keepers, consistency and durability.

Ms Waterson said the same trustworthy qualities that were attractive to our grandparents were still primary motivators.