Confectionary giant Cadbury has fallen from grace after six years as New Zealand's most trusted brand, making way for food producer Wattie's to claim the title.

Wattie's, makers of a wide range of pantry staples, beat 132 brands to win the award in the sixth annual most-trusted survey, Reader's Digest New Zealand reported.

Long-time title holder Cadbury fell to 36th equal place after widespread criticism over its use of palm oil.

The firm briefly replaced cocoa butter with palm oil last year as a cost-cutting measure.

Palm oil production has been blamed for the rapid destruction of rainforest habitats and remained the single greatest threat to the existence of orangutans, and many other Southeast Asian wildlife species.

Cadbury also came under fire last year after shifting production of Kiwi favourites, including Moro, overseas.

Automobile giant Toyota came in second place and won the automobile category, while Sony came in third and won both the electronics and computer categories.

Whittaker's, a New Zealand chocolate company, debuted on the list at number five.

The 2010 Reader's Digest Trust Survey was based on a representative sample of 500 people aged 18 years and over.

- NZPA, with NZ Herald staff