Ferrero rated ‘Most Reputable Company in the World’ in 2009 survey

Ferrero, the global confectionery business which has just embarked on major expansion in South Africa, has been voted the ‘Most Reputable Company in the World’ in the 2009 Global Reputation Pulse conducted annually by the Reputation Institute.
Ferrero SA MD Nick Terry with a range of Ferrero products.
Ferrero SA MD Nick Terry with a range of Ferrero products.
With a turnover in excess of 7 billion Euros from its famous international brands, Ferrero Rocher, Tic-Tac, Kinder and Nutella, Ferrero came out tops in the study that polled the reputations of more than 1,300 companies worldwide.

Over 70,000 online interviews with the general public in 32 countries were conducted during January and February this year. Runners up in the category, Best Reputations Among the Largest 600 Companies in the World, were IKEA and Johnson & Johnson.

“Based on perceptions in their home countries, Italian confectioner Ferrero, Swedish home furniture producer IKEA, and the US consumer product giant Johnson & Johnson enjoy the most trust, admiration, good feeling and overall esteem in he world,” states the survey report.

Ferrero had the highest overall reputation pulse score of 85.17 and the highest rating of all for Products/Services (88.96), Governance (82.71) and Citizenship (81.16). The family owned global confectioner was also the only company to be ranked in the top five of all seven categories on which the reputation survey was based, “which explains why the Italians trust, admire and feel good about this company.”

The survey conducted by the Reputation Institute, a global private advisory and research firm specialising in corporate reputation management, found that products/services followed by governance and citizenship had the most bearing on a company’s reputation. Financial performance and leadership also increased in importance in the 2009 survey.

“The public wants to see the companies lead the way with strong visions and stable performance,” says the survey report.

Corporate trust was found to be a bigger factor in emerging markets than in industrialised markets.

“Proportionally, the largest companies in Brazil, Russia, India and China enjoy a stronger emotional connection with consumers than the largest companies in the industrialised world,” says the report, which advises multi-national corporations to be wary of local competitors and to focus on building stronger relationships with consumers in these markets.

Ferrero has embarked on a long-term commitment to grow its South African interests through is local subsidiary, Ferrero Ithemba SA. Even with the downturn in the economy, this should have a positive impact on job creation, local manufacture and the development of raw materials. Ferrero has established a new 9,000m2 confectionery factory in Walkerville, south of Johannesburg. The company is also planning to cultivate locally over one million hazelnut trees to create a hazelnut industry in South Africa, which will in time ensure SA plays a role in the production of the Ferrero brands.

A wholly family owned business, the Ferrero Group currently has 36 operating companies, 15 factories and approximately 19,600 employees worldwide. The Ferrero principles of quality, innovation and technology supported by a deep rooted social conscience, have been instilled into the growing operations in South Africa with sites firmly set on other African markets in the future.