Hershey's Kisses Taste Victory in Harris EquiTrend Poll

Brand dethrones M&M's; Reese's Peanut Butter Cups takes 2nd place for first time

NEW YORK -- Hershey's Kisses Chocolate Candy is the top ranked chocolate candy brand for the fifth time in eight years in the just released 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend (EQ) study, an annual study of brand equity conducted by Harris Interactive. Hershey's Kisses unseats one of its most enduring competitors, M&M's Plain Chocolate Candy, which has occupied the top spot whenever Hershey's Kisses hasn't.

While always enjoying strong brand equity, this year, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Chocolate Candy moves up to the second spot for the first time.

"For the last eight years, it has been a battle between Hershey's Kisses and M&M's Plain Chocolate Candy for the top spot as America's favorite," said Aron Galonsky, senior vice president of the brand and communications consulting group at Harris Interactive. "While Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Chocolate Candy is usually in the top five, 2012 marks the first time that it is a contender for the top spot. It will be interesting to see if it continues this momentum."

This year, Hershey's and Mars products dominate the top chocolate brands, which include Hersey's Milk Chocolate Candy Bars, Kit Kat Bars, and Reese's Pieces. Within the Mars family, Peanut M&M's, Snickers and Twix also make the list of top brands.

Premium Chocolate

The 2012 study marks the first EQ in which premium chocolate is separate from the larger candy field. Ghirardelli Chocolate, which made its first appearance in the Harris Poll EquiTrend study in 2008, is the top ranked brand followed by Godiva Chocolate and Dove Milk Chocolate.

Non-Chocolate Candy

For those Americans who enjoy candy of the nonchocolate variety, Life Savers Candy takes the top spot. Other nonchocolate brands making the top of the list include Jolly Rancher, Tootsie Pops, Skittles and Starburst.


For the first time, chewing gum is sorted into its own Harris Poll EquiTrend category, and as such, Extra Gum chomps its way to the top, followed by Dentyne Gum, 5 Gum, Trident, Orbit and Stride Gum.

Click here to view the charts.

Harris Poll EquiTrend is a leading brand equity tracking study conducted by Harris Interactive that measures and compares brand health for more than 1,500 brands. The study was conducted online from January 31 through February 20, 2012 and analyzes the responses of more than 38,500 consumers on key measures of brand health, including how well the public knows a brand, how positively they think of the brand and their consideration to do business with or donate to a brand. Each brand is rated 1,000 times among respondents who are familiar with the brand. Harris Interactive has conducted its Harris Poll EquiTrend study regularly since 1989. The Equity Score, a key take-away from Harris Poll EquiTrend, has been validated against financial performance by Georgetown University.

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for The Harris Poll, it offers expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant and consumer package goods.