The 2021 American Customer Satisfaction Index, or ACSI, was released this week, and the rankings include three major candy companies.

The new ACSI results encompass customer satisfaction benchmarks for six manufacturing/nondurable goods industries: food, soft drinks, beer, personal care and cleaning items, apparel, and athletic shoes.

Each category is then broken down to show scores for the manufacturers with the largest market share in each one. So the food and beverage category included scores for Hershey, Mars and Ferrero. 

Food manufacturing, which came in at the top of all the categories, had a score of 80 in 2021, compared to 79 in 2020 and 82 in 2019. 

Both Hershey and Mars had a score of 82 in 2021, compared to 81 in 2020. The two were among three companies tied for first in the 2021 food manufacturing category, with a score of 82. Quaker (PepsiCo) was the third. 

Back in 2019, Hershey had an overall score of 84, Mars had an overall score of 82

The other candy company that consumers were asked about was Ferrero. The company had a score of 78 in 2021, which was the same as its score in 2020. In 2019, the company had a score of 81. 

Since 2019, there has been a sharp decline in customer satisfaction and there are several reasons for that, ACSI said. 

“While COVID-19 has certainly played a role, the fall in customer satisfaction began before the advent of the pandemic,” the organization said. “From 2010 to 2019, about 70 percent of the companies tracked by ACSI had declining or flat customer satisfaction scores. Since then, American customers have become even more dissatisfied. As of the second quarter 2021, almost 80 percent of the companies have now failed to increase the satisfaction of their customers since 2010.”

The ACSI Nondurable Products Study 2020-2021 is based on interviews with 5,080 customers, chosen at random and contacted via email between Oct. 6, 2020, and Sept. 25, 2021. 

For a full list of all the consumer sectors, visit the ACSI website.