Most valuable grocery brands fighting fierce battle

Posted by Isobel Drake on 15th October 2008

Intangible Business, a leading independent brand valuation consultancy, has published its annual table of the 100 most valuable grocery brands in the UK and advised the battle for shelf space is only going to get fiercer amongst brand owners.

150 of the country’s leading grocery brands were analysed using historical sales data and qualitative expert panel data – providing unique insight into each brand’s financial contribution and strength in the eyes of the consumer.

Coca-Cola again came out on top of the list, with many brands still managing to increase their value in spite of the downturn and increased pressure from private label goods. “The economic downturn has had a profound effect on the grocery market in 2008 and played straight into the hands of discount retailers. With their lower overheads, abundance of own label brands and international economies of scale, Aldi and Lidl have become the stars of the year,” Stuart Whitwell, joint managing director of Intangible Business said.

The Top 10
1. Coca-Cola, £1,151m
2. Warburtons, £583m
3. Lucozade (+1), £457m
4. Cadbury Dairy Milk (-1), £451m
5. Nescafe (+1), £415m
6. Hovis (-1), £366m
7. Robinsons, £354m
8. Andrex, £317m
9. Red Bull (+3), £267m
10.Heinz Baked Beanz (-1), £268m

The report also includes a ranking for countries of origin. The UK, which has 54 brands in the top 100 leads the USA, which has 30, and France, which has six. The report also identifies movement amongst brands over the last 12 months. The biggest movers include:

• Kettle Chips: (75) up an impressive 20 places with an increase in brand value of 28% (£64m), Kettle Chips moved up the most places. Buoyed in part by its broadened product range following the introduction of more convenient, single packets the brand is fast becoming a major competitor to its more established UK rivals Walkers, McCoy’s and Pringles.
• Mars: (53) Mars is 2008’s second best performer moving up 18 places. Constant investment in brand advertising has helped the brand maintain its position as one of the nations’ favourite chocolate bars.

Brands experiencing the biggest downward shift often faced controversy or greater competition, for example:

• Bernard Matthews: Bernard Matthews lost 28% of its brand value and only just scrapped into the top 100 in the wake of a bird flu scare last year.
• Tate & Lyle Sugar: With consumers finding it harder to distinguish between branded products and own label in this sector, Tate & Lyle Sugar fell down the top 100 this year after losing 9% in brand value.

“If, as expected, major supermarkets bring in more lines of own label products to compete with discount retailers, 2009 will see a fierce battle of brand owners,” Mr Whittle added. “We have seen examples of this in 2008 with Princes losing out to John West, Coke increasing market share over Pepsi and Warburtons firmly establishing itself as the number one provider of baked goods. This will only get worse.”