Drinks makers are winning the PR battle as they bid to convince shoppers about their good intentions on issues such as alcohol consumption, new data suggests.

Brewing and spirits companies were ranked the third most trusted business sector in the UK in the Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual poll assessing the faith consumers place in industry, government, NGOs and the media to act ethically.

Sixty percent of UK respondents aged 25 to 64 said they trusted alcoholic drinks companies “to do what is right”, up from 53% a year ago.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages hung on to second place in the rankings, although their perceived trustworthiness dipped from slightly from 67%c in 2011 to 63%.

The Edelman survey was conducted with “informed publics” – respondents who are university educated, significant consumers of media and engaged in business news and public policy, as well as in the top 25% income bracket.