As I reported a couple of days ago, the preliminary Top 10 was revealed from the Millward Brown Optimor Top 100. Today the full list was revealed. The full list, with analysis, is available for free as a pdf at their website.
Of the Top 100, as in past years, only Budweiser made the list. It came in at #52, up 18 spots from #70 last year with a brand increase of 23%. That, of course, seems strange since sales are relatively flat, and have been for some years now. If you’re interested on learning more about how they came up with the rankings, there’s a short video that explains it in greater detail.
Here’s the Top 10 in the beer sector:
And here’s how the beer segment is analyzed in the MBO Report:
Beer Lightens Up At Home
The brand value of the beer category has grown by 15 percent, benefiting from the consumer effort to economize by shifting consumption from bars and restaurants to home. Bud Light surpassed Budweiser in brand value, with a year-on-year increase of 33 percent, reflecting the rising popularity of light beers. This accomplishment has been driven in part by a shift in tastes, the trend toward increased health consciousness, and competitive pricing. At the super-premium end of the market, Kronenbourg 1664, has moved up in the rankings to number 10 from number 12. This advance was driven by a 41 percent increase in year-on-year brand value, which places it among the top 20 risers in the BrandZ ranking. By strange coincidence the Kronenbourg 1664 brand value is $1,664 million. The brand was introduced in Russia last year, where overall consumption has quadrupled after legislation relaxed restrictions on beer drinking.
Heineken remains in third place after Bud Light and Budweiser, with a 10 percent year-on-year rise in brand value. Attempting to keep the brand relevant as consumption shifts away from on-premise consumption, Heineken explored campaigns that emphasize serving premium beer for at-home events. With Carlsberg, Heineken last year took over Scottish and Newcastle. The transaction was part of an industry consolidation trend that also included the combining of SAB Miller and Molson Coors into MillerCoors and the merger of InBev and Anheuser-Busch. Consolidation may continue, but probably not on this scale because of the limited availability of credit.
Notice how the brand value change is so volatile, much more so than actual sales of these brands. Their comment about Bud Light surpassing Bud “reflecting the rising popularity of light beers” seems pretty naive since light beers have been outselling their non-low-calorie counterparts for years, if not decades. Bud Light itself has been outselling Budweiser for many years, but this is the first year it overtook Bud in “brand value?” That calls into question a few things about the metric their using. I realize that “brand value” is not the same as sales, but the two should at least have some correlation to the marketplace, otherwise what’s the point?
Anyway, it’s an interesting exercise and I’ll be interested to see what happens next year with all the changes at the large-scale beer companies.