The inaugural food index (FINDEX) from Canteen at JWT surveyed 3,200 people across the UK, US, Brazil and France for the report, with more countries expected to be added to the study later this year.
The study found that 61% of people surveyed felt that big food companies have more work to do if they want to deliver a great food experience.
Nearly one in five Americans and Britons (18%), and one in four French (24%) distrust big food brands outright, citing over-processed foods as the main reason (53%).
Brands were also distrusted for prioritising profit over quality (49%).
In the UK, the study highlighted that the least trusted food entities in the UK are social media brands (38%), internet food retailers (25%) and meal-kit / subscription services (25%), perhaps indicating the need for newer business models to win consumer trust.
Interestingly, the report also highlighted that around a third of people (34.5%) felt that their food choices are affected by their personal values and opinions on both political and environmental issues, perhaps alluding to the rapid growth of vegetarian and vegan options in the market.
Commenting on the results, Megan Van Someren, founder of Canteen at JWT said: “Now more than ever, food plays an incredibly dynamic role in people’s daily lives.
“Yet, there is a lot of work to be done by food companies of all shapes and sizes to live up to people’s expectations.
“We’ve commissioned this research to not only benefit brands, big and small, to help reimagine their business through the lens of food culture but to also benefit people and the food system overall.
“Too many people don’t feel their food experiences measure up and we all need to work together to change this.”