Apple is the most trusted brand among young US consumers, according to Outlaw Consulting's latest annual Trusted Brands survey.

The firm released this year's list of the Top 15 trusted US brands among young Americans – and Apple leads the pack.

The market research firm surveyed 109 of its most forward-thinking trendsetter panelists living in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami. It asked them for a list of companies they trusted and respected and their reasons why. Participants were aged between 21 and 27 years old.

Barbara Bylenga, founder and chief strategist, said: "Our aim was to compile a 'Trust Index' of brands that trendsetters have deeply positive feelings for. Not just whatever is hot right now, but the brands that inspire true loyalty in this generation."

Apple was the foremost brand. It was pursued by Ben and Jerry's, Adidas and Red Stripe.

"Our trendsetter panelists are most attracted to companies that keep things simple, who are frank and straightforward in their marketing, who demonstrate an independent spirit, who aren't trying too hard to be 'cool', and who are clearly guided by their customers’ best interests," said Bylenga.

Apple won praise for the simplicity of its message, its cutting-edge design and its capacity to re-invent itself and to lead trends with its innovative products.