World's most valuable food brands: Nestlé, Kellogg's, Lay's and Quaker rule

By Kristine Sherred contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ranking the world's 50 most valuable brands. Pic: ©GettyImages/anyaberkut
Ranking the world's 50 most valuable brands. Pic: ©GettyImages/anyaberkut

Related tags: brand identity, branding, Marketing, Assessment, Value, Pepsico, Kellogg, Quaker oats, Campbell Snacks, Doritos

Brand Finance's 2019 rankings placed Nestlé as the most valuable food brand with the world’s largest food & drink brand portfolio – breaking the $70bn mark – while Kellogg's landed in fourth and Lay's in eighth. PepsiCo's Quaker was deemed the fastest-growing food brand worldwide in terms of value.

Brand Finance annually measures the value of CPG brands based on sales and consumer insights.

‘The humble oat’

According to the recently released report, the standout on this year’s list was Quaker, which jumped 57% in value to $3bn – sliding up to 21 out of 50 food brands, compared to number 35 last year.

The PepsiCo subsidiary has undertaken "concerted efforts in product diversification and in branching out their product range to keep up with evolving tastes and habits of customers,” ​Henry Farr, a senior analyst at Brand Finance, told BakeryandSnacks.

He noted the ‘impressive expanded range’ of breakfast bars, cereals and drinks (oat milk) hitting the top notes.

“Their recent rebrand has been targeted at increasing awareness of the product and this year’s impressive brand value increase is an early indication that they are well and truly on the right track,”​ he said.

World's 10 most valuable food brands 2019

2019 rank

2018 rank

Brand

2019 brand value

($ million)

1

1

Nestle

19,644

2

2

Danone

8,148

3

3

Yili

7,559

4

5

Kellogg’s

6,703

5

4

Tyson

6,481

6

13

Mengniu

4,994

7

7

Wrigley’s

4,751

8

12

Lay’s

4,699

9

11

McCain

4,675

10

6

Kraft

4,549

Tortilla talk

Two other PepsiCo brands – Doritos and Lay’s – also grew, at 33.2% and 28.5% respectively. PepsiCo retained its position as the second spot as the most valuable food and drink portfolios, following a 7% increase in total brand value to $58.9bn.

“Doritos have benefitted from a marked increase in global demand for tortilla chips as a go-to snack, driven largely by a growing Mexican-American population and the variety of flavours that customers can choose from,” ​said Farr.

The brand best known for its Nacho Cheese flavored chips has also spent marketing dollars on ‘memorable campaigns and tactical product placements.

Whereas PepsiCo has continued to levy the power of its snack brands in this age of snacking, Campbell’s has only just begun, since acquiring the Snyder-Lance​ portfolio in 2018 and Pacific Foods a year earlier.

The soup and snack company became one of Brand Finance’s strongest brands, Farr said, with a Brand Strength Index score of 85.23 out of 100.

Brand Finance aims to connect marketing speak and financial results with ‘a mutually intelligible language,' giving marketers the ability to communicate success stories inherent in strong sales.

The firm’s annual report evaluates the viability of a brand’s messaging against metrics such as marketing investment, stakeholder equity and business performance – considered on a 100-point scale relative to competitors. In separating food from drink, it also yields an insightful picture of how rising sales or paradigm portfolio shifts can increase brand perception.

A brand with high marketing investment but low stakeholder equity, for example, is typically on a path to growth. Strong business performance combined with low stakeholder equity, however, could signal that a brand’s value will diminish.

“This reflects the classic and timeless nature of a brand that has long been a mainstay of American culture and kitchens.

"Interestingly, the recent acquisitions have also made ‘Biscuits and Snacks’ their largest reporting segment, so perhaps we are seeing a change of strategic direction as they seek to diversify their product portfolio,”​ he added.

Kellogg’s also enjoyed a bump, rising 23% from a $5.4bn valuation in 2018 to $6.7bn this year.

Conversely, Mexican bakery giant Grupo Bimbo was reported to drop by 9.9% in value over last year, falling from number 26 to 44.

China cashing in

Chinese snack and drinks manufacturer Want Want – known for its rice crackers and flavored children’s milk – also enjoyed a 50% boost in its brand strength.

The company has enjoyed ‘bullish revenue forecasts,’ according to Farr, and domestically, the brand is extremely well-known and respected.

“Approximately 90% of Want Want’s revenue is from the Chinese market, so, it is unsurprising that they are now looking to expand internationally,”​ Farr said. The expansion entails a factory in Vietnam and new subsidiaries throughout the Southeast Asian market.

He expects the company to advertise aggressively in these new markets to nurture brand awareness outside of mainland China; however, “the challenge, and indeed the key to their success, will be in establishing the same brand affinity that they currently enjoy in China.”

The Japanese snack Pocky/Mikado, for example, has “successfully transcended novelty and became a global snacking staple recognized by customers around the world.”

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