Chocolate makers Whittaker’s voted Most Trusted Kiwi Brand 7 years running

Of all the brands in New Zealand, a food one has come out on top in the annual Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey – and it’s chocolate company Whittaker’s, again.

Whittaker’s has been around for 122 years, but what makes it such a Kiwi favourite is a mixture of several factors, says the company’s chief sales officer, Matt Whittaker.

“We think it is a combination of our 122-year history, reliability for quality, and our innovation in creating tempting new products over recent years – sometimes in collaboration with other iconic kiwi brands, or in support of important causes. All this has helped us maintain that trusted status,” Matt says.

He believes the company maintains quality product as it makes all its chocolate from one factory in Porirua and controls the entire manufacturing process, from roasting the cocoa beans to wrapping the finished product.

“In that context, this award is a fantastic acknowledgement of all of our wonderful staff, who live our company values every day.

“We are also fortunate to have on our doorstep quality suppliers of ingredients we use to make our chocolate, which also enables us to tell a richer New Zealand story about the products we export,” he says.

The family business was also voted winner of the New Zealand Iconic Brands category and took out the top confectionery accolade too. These same results were achieved by Whittaker’s last year. Air New Zealand and Tip Top were highly commended in the New Zealand Iconic Brands category.

Comments from those surveyed included praise for Whittaker’s quality ingredients, business integrity, local manufacturing, prices, advertising, and care for the environment.

Matt Whittaker says the praise and repeated wins are an honour. He says the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand award is seen as “a testament to our absolute commitment to quality and our genuine engagement with Whittaker’s Chocolate Lovers”.

Brands joining Whittaker’s in finishing in top slots this year are:


1. Whittaker’s (Confectionery)
2. Whittakers (New Zealand iconic brand)
3. Air New Zealand
4. Canon
5. Toyota
6. Nikon
7. Resene
8. Tip Top (Ice Cream)
9. Sleepyhead
10. Dilmah

The annual survey has grown over the years to include 65 categories of products and services, reflecting a broad range of industries. The full results, including highly commended accolades, appear in the July 2018 Reader’s Digest and can be found on

Reader’s Digest APAC Group Editor Louise Waterson says this year marks the 19th time the annual Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey has been commissioned.

“Ranking trusted brands remains as valuable an exercise as ever, it would appear. After all, consumers of today tell us the number one quality they demand of a brand is… honesty.”

She says being ranked on the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands list is a great achievement. It means a company is genuine, authentic, reliable and consistent – and only the best brands can manage this.

While welcoming newcomers to the list, she applauds those who are repeat performers, as maintaining a laudable ranking involves “a genuine, on-going commitment to protect and fulfil the promises made to the consumer”.

The survey reveals New Zealanders like to start their day with Sanitarium, Vogels and coffee (courtesy of their Breville machine) and end it with a Villa Maria wine purchased from Pak’n’Save. They favour Toyotas (cleaned with Turtle Wax) and prefer them to have Bridgestone tyres, and be topped up with fuel from Z – if they bike instead, it’s on an Avanti. If vacuuming and cleaning are chores that can’t be ignored then Dyson is the cleaner to trust, and Dettol the cleaning product. Meanwhile a Masport will take care of the lawn and a Bosch power tool will handle the DIY project. A Sleepyhead bed – New Zealanders’ favoured bed – will look even better than ever at the end of such an active day.

The range of categories included, for example: beds, bicycles, car rentals, insurance, hair care, home-builders, jewellers, heat pumps, real estate, vitamins and supplements, supermarkets, tea, tissues and toddler milk formula.