Food and beverage well represented in top 100 brand rankings

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 19th September 2008

Coca-Cola has laid claim to the best global brand for the eighth year in a row in the coveted Interbrand Best Global Brands ranking*. The beverage giant, which had a brand value of US$66.7 billion, was among sixteen food and beverage companies to feature in the top 100 brands.

“The Best Global Brands 2008 ranking is a reflection of the global economy – the current credit crisis in the U.S., the growth of emerging markets and the increased emphasis on sustainability are all key trends that resulted in brands rising or failing on the list,” said Jez Frampton, Global CEO of Interbrand. “The increasing complexities of the global economy reinforce the importance of protecting and growing a brand. It is a company’s most valuable asset – and a far less volatile asset than others during a time of economic uncertainty.”

Other entries in the top 100 from the food and beverage industry included McDonald’s – which held steady in eighth spot, Pepsi – which did likewise at 26, and Nescafé which fell four spots to 28. Budweiser (at 33), Kellogg’s (39), Heinz (56), Wrigley (61), Nestlé (63), KFC (64), Danone (66), Pizza Hut (81), Moet & Chandon (83), Starbucks (85), Smirnoff (89) and Hennessy (95) rounded out the list of those from the broad food and beverage industry. Surprisingly, Starbucks gained the most number of spots out of those in the sector, with a rise of three places from last year despite their well-publicised difficulties in Australia and America.

The greatest increase in terms of brand value (within the food and beverage sector) was registered by Danone – whose brand value escalated by 8%; with brand value falls within the sector limited to fast-food restaurant brands (KFC and Pizza Hut) and alcoholic beverage brands (Hennessy and Budweiser). Such companies have met greater regulatory resistance in the past year and have come under the spotlight as concern about obesity rates and binge drinking has spread worldwide.

Mr Frampton added that trying economic conditions were impacting many companies, with an understanding of brand value a pivotal factor in riding out the economic turbulence. “In troubled economies business doesn’t cease. Companies may struggle, but the practice of buying and selling continues no matter what,” he noted. “Many of the Best Global Brands know this and come through these difficult times stronger and better poised to compete. The key to success, in good times and bad is understanding how your brand creates value.”

Other consumer packaged goods to make the list included: Gillette (14), Marlboro (18), Colgate (57), Kleenex (74) and Johnson & Johnson (92).

No company of Australian origin made the Top 100 list.

*Best Global Brands 2008 Methodology and Results To qualify for inclusion in the BusinessWeek/Interbrand Best Global Brands 2008 list, each brand must derive at least a third of its earnings outside its home country, be recognizable outside of its base of customers, and have publicly available marketing and financial data. This methodology evaluates brand value in the same way any other corporate asset is valued-on the basis of how much it is likely to earn for the company in the future. Interbrand uses a combination of analysts’ projections, company financial documents, and its own qualitative and quantitative analysis to arrive at a net present value of those earnings.