Since 2009, total U.S. packaged food sales have grown at a 2.3% CAGR, while overall U.S. GDP has grown at a 3.9%. The rise of private label and the shift in consumer preferences toward healthy and organic foods has hampered growth for major food brands. In response brands are growing their digital investments, especially in mobile where eighty-one percent of Index brands now have a mobile-optimized site, up from only 57 percent in May of last year. And Forty-six percent offer a store locator, and 51 percent feature click-to-call functionality. However, only two-thirds of Index brands are truly “mobile-friendly” by Google’s definition, and only 23 percent offer a mobile plenty of room for improvement remains. This year's Genius circle features five newcomers, and two incumbents. Betty Crocker maintains its top ranking from last year and has extended its lead, boosted by one of the strongest recipe sections in the Index, and a demonstrated commitment to mobile. Index rookie Ghirardelli debuted in the #2 spot, spurred by a website redesign that produces the highest search & navigation score across the Index. Kraft, Pillsbury and McCormick all rose to Genius level primarily driven by well executed recipe content. Johnsonville jumped from Average to Genius this year, driven by improvements to its desktop and mobile sites. Kellogg’s maintained its Genius ranking but fell to the #6 position, due to relatively weak recipe pages and a lack of visibility on Google search. This study attempts to quantify the digital competence of 114 packaged food brands that operate globally.

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