WASHINGTON — Consumers may not trust Cheerios as much as Band-Aid or Kleenex, but the oat-based cereal from General Mills, Inc. still ranked No. 6 in Morning Consult’s top 10 most trusted brands in the United States list.

Cheerios also outranked the likes of Kellogg’s, Campbell’s and Oreos as No. 1 in Morning Consult’s top 10 most trusted food and beverage brands list.

“Amid a year defined by inflation, it’s no surprise Americans are placing their trust in the hands of brands that simplify their everyday lives,” said Morning Consult.

The business intelligence company ranks brands based on their average net trust rating, which is the share of consumers who say they trust a brand minus the share who distrust said brand. In the case of Cheerios, the brand’s net trust score was 53.42. According to the report, 56% of Gen Zers and 63% of all adults trust Cheerios. Kellogg’s ranked second in the food and beverage category at 51.90, followed by Campbell’s at 51.63, Oreo at 50.34 and M&M’s at 49.42. Rounding out the top 10 in the category were Heinz, Lipton, Ritz, Lay’s and Pillsbury, according to Morning Consult.

“As a part of consumers’ daily lives, brands in the food and beverage category have numerous touchpoints to deliver on expectations and earn consumers’ trust,” said Morning Consult. “The industry is largely meeting those expectations. As of March 2023, food and beverage brands score the second-highest average net trust among industries worldwide. But generationally, that trust varies.”

According to the report, baby boomers and Gen Xers are more likely to trust these household food brands while younger generations such as millennials and Gen Zers are less likely to trust these brands.

“Coming of age alongside social media and the internet with all-access information at their fingertips, younger consumers can get to know brands more intimately than generations that came before them,” said Morning Consult. “This behind-the-scenes view can make consumers more skeptical of marketing efforts, which may come across as more on display today than the one-to-many traditional communication channels of the past.”

Morning Consult also weighed in on the most trusted limited-service restaurant brands. Dairy Queen claimed the top spot with a net trust score of 47.23. Rounding out the top five were Pizza Hut, 46.16; Dunkin’, 45.32; Wendy’s, 45.27; and Domino’s, 43.28.