Green Mountain Coffee ranked as the coffee brand of the year above Folgers, Dunkin’ Donuts and Millstone in Harris Interactive’s 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend study. The survey also took stock of America’s favorite beverages across categories including carbonated soft drinks (CSD), energy drinks, enhanced water, ready-to-drink (RTD) teas and alcohol brands.

Green Mountain Coffee outranked 13 well-known coffee brands to achieve the highest quality and purchase considerations within the Harris Poll EquiTrend study.

“One of the great strengths of the Harris poll EquiTrend Study is that it is a measure of brand value rather than just brand recognition,” said Robert Fronk, executive vice president at Harris Interactive, in a statement. “Green Mountain Coffee is by no means the best known coffee brand, but it is clear that those who do know it love it. Green Mountain’s high standing may also be a reflection of the efficacy in ‘doing well by doing good.’ It has attained a reputation as an exceptional corporate citizen. One implication from this study is that good corporate citizens that also produce high-quality products are very likely to generate exceptional levels of brand equity.”

The Harris Poll EquiTrend study found that Coca-Cola topped the list of soft drinks brands of the year, followed by Pepsi-Cola, Sprite, 7-Up and Dr Pepper. Among diet CSD offerings, Diet Coke also was No. 1 followed by Sprite Zero, Diet Dr Pepper and Coke Zero. The poll also found SoBe Adrenaline Rush to be the top-ranking energy drink of the year, followed by Amp and Rock Star brands.
PepsiCo’s Gatorade brand was indicated as the No. 1 sports drink brand of year, according to the Harris Poll EquiTrend study. The Coca-Cola Co.’s Glaceau Vitaminwater topped the list of enhanced water brands. In bottled water, Nestlé Waters’ Poland Spring, Deer Park, Arrowhead and Ice Mountain brands filled out the Top 4 followed by PepsiCo’s Aquafina brand. Goya coconut water was chosen as the No. 1 coconut water brand, according to the survey.

The poll also found that PepsiCo’s Tropicana brand ranks as fruit juice brand of the year, followed by Ocean Spray, Florida’s Natural, Welch’s and The Coca-Cola Co.’s Minute Maid juice brands. In the category of fruit-flavored drinks, Nestlé’s Juicy Juice topped the list with Kool-Aid and Capri Sun filling out the Top 3 brands in the Harris Poll EquiTrend study.

Lipton Tea received top honors as both the hot and RTD iced tea brand of the year. Following Unilever’s bagged Lipton teas in the hot tea category were Bigelow, Twinings, Celestial Seasonings and Tazo Tea. In the bottled tea category, the Pepsi-Lipton Tea Partnership brand outranked Luzianne and Turkey Hill tea, the study found.

In the alcohol category, Yuengling Traditional Lager was the No. 1 beer brand of the year. The expanding regional beer topped the list that also includes MillerCoor’s Tenth and Blake Brewing Co.’s Blue Moon, craft beer Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and imports Newcastle Brown Ale and Guinness Stout. In the light beer category, the Top 3 brands were as follows: Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Michelob Ultra, Crown Imports’ Corona Light and Heineken USA’s Heineken Premium Light Beer.

The Harris Poll EquiTrend study also surveyed spirits, which were topped by Glenlivet single-malt Scotch whisky as Scotch whisky brand of the year, and Skyy vodka from Campari America as vodka brand of the year.

Harris Interactive conducts the Harris Poll EquiTrend study that measures and compares brand health for more than 1,500 brands. The study was conducted online from Jan. 31 to Feb. 20, and analyzes the responses of more than 38,500 consumers on key measures of brand health, including how well the public knows a brand, how positively they think of the brand and their consideration to do business with or donate to a brand. Each brand is rated 1,000 times among respondents who are familiar with the brand. Harris Interactive has conducted the EquiTrend study regularly since 1989.