Supermarkets, food and beverage brands gaining value in tough times

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 29th April 2009

New research has discovered that brands within the food and beverage industry have proven among the most resilient over the past year.

The fourth annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking published today by Millward Brown Optimor revealed that brands sustained their value, despite the tough economic environment.

The research identifies the dollar value of brands by combining financial data with research on consumers and business-to-business users from BrandZ – the world’s largest brand equity study.

The value of the top 100 brands held its value at $1.95 trillion (A$2.73tn) – a marginal increase of 1.7 per cent. Google again came out on top with a value of US$100 billion, Microsoft moved up to second at $76.2b, and Coca-Cola entered the top three for the first time at $67.6b.

“In the current environment, where the value of many businesses has fallen, brand has become even more important because it can help to sustain companies in tough times,” said Joanna Seddon, CEO Millward Brown Optimor. “Those who continue to invest in their brand will be better positioned for business growth as the economic situation starts to improve than those who have cut spend.”

Trends identified from this year’s rankings are:
Value – Brands that represent good value for money have done well, this is about quality as much as price – for example supermarket chains Wal-Mart (+19 per cent) and Aldi (+49 per cent) both reaped benefits from their low price mantras.

Vice – People still reward themselves with little treats when money is tight. Millward Brown pointed to brands like McDonald’s (+34 per cent), Marlboro (+33 per cent) and Budweiser (+23 per cent) as examples of this trend.

Home – Brands that can be experienced at home have shown strong growth. This includes home shopping; coffee that can be prepared at home: Nespresso (+27 per cent) and Nescafe (+23 per cent); supermarkets; and gaming.

“At a time when marketing spend is under greater scrutiny than ever, this ranking is a way for marketers to identify the value that their brand is creating for the business,” Eileen Campbell, Global CEO of Millward Brown, concluded.

Food and beverage industry brands on the list in 2009 (percentage increase/decrease in value):

3. Coca-Cola (+16%)
5. McDonald’s (+34%)
11. Wal-Mart (+19%)
21. Tesco (-1%)
44. Pepsi (-3%)
47. Carrefour (-1%)
52. Budweiser (+23%)
60. Subway (+6%)
64. Wrigley’s (New entrant)
74. Aldi (+49%)
79. Red Bull (New entrant)
89. Starbucks (-40%)
94. KFC (+10%)