LONDON — Vevey, Switzerland-based Nestle SA is once again the world’s most valuable brand, according to “Food & Drink 2022,” which highlights the top 10 global food and beverage brands as measured by consultancy company Brand Finance. Brand Finance evaluates 5,000 of the world’s largest brands annually and ranks them according to value, brand strength, growth rate and emergence.
Nestle came in first for value at $20.8 billion, up from $19.4 billion in 2021 and worth nearly twice as much as the second-place company, China-based dairy brand Yili Group, which was valued at $10.6 billion.
“Nestle credits their decentralized structure as the reason for its agility in responding to changes in consumer needs, customer demands and supply chain challenges, which is correlated with its brand value growth,” Brand Finance said.
In addition, Nestle’s investments in digital transformation and long-term brand strategy have helped it stay in the top position, according to the company.
Yili specializes in high-status dairy products, which have seen a surge in the past year from an increased perception of immunity building and general health benefits. Coming in third was Lay’s, which is part of Purchase, NY-based PepsiCo, Inc. According to the report, Lay’s increased its value by 31% since 2021, up to $8.6 billion. Many consumers underwent a shift in snacking habits during the COVID-19 pandemic, which Lay’s was able to capitalize on via an enhanced digital presence.
“People are returning to the brands they love, they are hungry for Nestle, Yili and Lay’s,” said Savio D’Souza, head of EMEA consulting at Brand Finance. “Food brand values are back above pre-pandemic levels.”
Beyond value, Brand Finance also calculates brand strength based on metrics such as marketing investments, stakeholder equity and business performance. Using market research data from more than 100,000 respondents in over 35 countries and compliant with international evaluation standard ISO 20671, Brand Finance ranked Hershey’s as the world’s strongest food brand in 2022. Hershey’s score of a Brand Strength Index (BSI) at 89.8 and AAA+ brand rating moved the brand up from its second-place position last year.
“The mass-market American chocolate brand has proven that despite challenging conditions and disruptions worldwide, it is more than able to respond to these with confidence and it has delivered another year of very strong performance,” Brand Finance said.
Coming in second for strongest brand was PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats Co. with a BSI score of 89.2 and a AAA brand rating. Frito-Lay’s Doritos brand, also part of PepsiCo, ranked third with an 88.3 BSI and AAA brand rating.
In a ranking of 2022’s fastest growing food brands, Brand Finance listed Mondelez International, Inc.’s belVita brand as the top performer globally, with its brand value up 62% from last year to $1.6 billion. BelVita has focused largely on increasing supply chain sustainability this past year through initiatives targeting packaging waste and supporting ethically sourced cocoa. Coming in second was China-based flavoring brand Haitian, up 55%, with McCormick & Co. in third, up 54%.
On the non-alcoholic beverage front, Coca-Cola earned the top spot for most valuable global brand at $35.4 billion, according to Brand Finance.
“Coca-Cola consumption patterns were disrupted by the pandemic, with a substantial reduction in social gatherings in many parts of the world,” Brand Finance said. “Brand changes made by Coca-Cola during the pandemic, such as the acceleration of its business transformation model to reduce sugar in its drink offerings and improve environmental sustainability in packaging and recycling, are likely to have an ongoing effect on its brand value.”
Coca-Cola also came in first for non-alcoholic beverage brand strength, with a 93.3 BSI and AAA+ rating.
PepsiCo came in second for both brand value — up 12% to $20.7 billion — and brand strength — with a 90.1 BSI and AAA+ rating.
“As pandemic restrictions recede in the rear-view mirror, many non-alcoholic brand values are surging,” Mr. D’Souza said. “People are once again able to easily get together for a Coke, a Pepsi, a coffee or cup of tea. This is good for consumers, and good for brand values in this sector of the economy.”
Coca-Cola’s Monster, Unilever PLC’s Lipton and PepsiCo’s Gatorade brands were the top three fastest growing beverage brands this year. Monster’s value was up 29% to $6.3 billion, Lipton’s value was up 27% to $3.2 billion and Gatorade’s value was up 26% to $5.3 billion.
“During the pandemic, many consumers would have likely experienced an increase in health and wellness consciousness along with the need to stay energized,” Brand Finance said. “Consumers during this period experienced the restrictions of having to consume their drinks at home and not at their favorite restaurants or usual morning coffee shops, most likely also saw this as an opportunity to increase their consumption in a more affordable manner.”