Food & Beverage companies sell some of the most recognizable brands that span global markets and cultures — and feed millions of people worldwide every day. These companies spend billions of dollars annually on multi-media advertising and social marketing campaigns to reinforce corporate branding and gain mind share among consumers. But how well do their websites work?

To find out, the siteIQ team evaluated a total of 20 sites across four industry segments (Beverages, Consumer Products, Food Production, and Food Services) using the siteIQ Usability benchmark.

This benchmark includes 161 questions across three categories and eight sub-categories that measure the overall practicality, versatility, and convenience of any given website from the visitor’s point of view. A second review recategorizes the 161 questions into 16 Usability Dimensions that illustrate how sufficiently each website allows users to achieve everyday tasks, objectives, and goals. The results of these evaluations allow the team to rank and rate each site — and determine a winner overall.

This summary announces key findings for the Food & Beverage industry based on Website Usability and Website Usability by Dimension scores.

Overall Findings 

When reviewing our inaugural Food & Beverage industry results, it doesn’t take long to determine that these sites perform reasonably well. Their Website Usability Average as a group is 61%, and more than half of all tracked sites typically register Average sub-category and Usability Dimension scores.

That said, Food & Beverage sites have a lot less to live up to than Tech, Merchandiser, or even Finance sites, so it’s easier for them to produce solid scores. In fact, the Food & Beverage benchmark is the smallest so far.

Still, a look behind the numbers shows that the small stature of the benchmark isn’t the only reason Food & Beverage sites perform well. Instead, this view shows that these sites consistently register scores that are close to — but just miss — Good Practice status. Case in point, there are three sub-categories and five Dimensions where ten or more sites miss the Good Practice target by less than 1.5%.

Additionally, eight of the twenty sites are less than 1% off the Good Practice mark in Product Marketing, and nine sites come close in Linking Conventions and Online Selling & Sales Links. What’s more, nearly every Food & Beverage website earns at least one Good Practice rating based on Usability by Dimension scores. So, whether accidentally — or on purpose — these sites are useful and effective for visitors.

That said, there are some instances where usability is lacking. Thoroughness of Content and User Encouragement scores suggest that Food & Beverage sites can be thin on resources and lackadaisical about persuading visitors to find out more information or take action. Unfortunately, a more detailed review reveals that these lapses occur most frequently in product marketing areas, which should be chock full of information and call to action elements. In the grand scheme, however, these deficiencies aren’t enough to completely derail usability — but they do account for overall scores that rate as Average. 

Once all the scores are tallied, TheHersheyCompany.com, GeneralMills.com, McDonalds.com, PepsiCo.com, and TysonFoods.com occupy the Top 5 ranking positions on the Overall Website Usability and Overall Website Usability by Dimension rosters. This is intriguing because each of the four sectors tracked is represented by at least one site in this group, which underscores that the usability of Food & Beverage websites is relatively consistent across all segments. More importantly, the margin of difference separating the first and fifth place sites is just 1.6%, which corroborates that these sites perform pretty well overall.

We wouldn’t be surprised to see a few of these sites compete with some of the heavy hitters in Tech when we pit all the sites from the different industries studied by our Usability Index against each other later this year.

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About the siteIQ Usability Index

siteIQ evaluated the 20 Food & Beverage Websites listed on the 2020 siteIQ Usability Index. These Websites are categorized into four industry-specific segments including:

  • Beverages (CBrands.com, Coca-Cola.com, KeurigDrPepper.com, PepsiCo.com)
  • Consumer Products (ConagraBrands.com, DeanFoods.com, GeneralMills.com, HormelFoods.com, KraftHeinzCompany.com, LandOLakesInc.com, TheHersheyCompany.com, TreeHouseFoods.com)
  • Food Production (CHSInc.com, Ingredion.com, Sysco.com, TysonFoods.com)
  • Food Services (Darden.com, McDonalds.com, Starbucks.com, Yum.com)

These in-depth evaluations were conducted using the 2020 edition of the siteIQ Usability Index Best Practices Benchmark, which tracks results in 8 sub-categories and 16 Usability Dimensions.

The 2020 evaluations were performed during the first quarter of 2020.

Category: Index Rankings

Class: Website Reviews and Rankings

Websites Profiled: siteIQ Usability Index Websites – Food & Beverage Industry

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