H.J. Heinz Co. – our Processor of the Year in this issue – scored an 89, enough to lead all companies – not just food & beverage processors, but those in six other categories – in the year-end 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), released in October and November.
This year, customer satisfaction with Heinz’s food products rose 1 percentage point while the overall index was flat and food manufacturing as a whole remained at 81 percent. Heinz led the food industry for the 12th straight year and also ranked No. 1 among all 225-plus companies measured by ACSI.
Results were mixed for individual companies. Candymaker Mars gained two points (87) to place second in the food category. Coke and Pepsi were tied at 85 in the soft drinks category, and SABMiller led the breweries list with an 84. Hill’s Pet Nutrition (a Colgate-Palmolive brand) also had an 84 to head up pet food.
ACSI is a national indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of products and services available to household consumers in the U.S. Data from interviews with approximately 70,000 customers annually are used as inputs into an econometric model to measure satisfaction with more than 225 companies in 47 industries and 10 economic sectors, along with over 200 services, programs, and websites of approximately 130 federal government agencies. The index was founded at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and is produced by ACSI LLC (www.theacsi.org).