American drinks giant, Coca-Cola, retains its position as the world’s most valuable soft drinks brand after recording a 19% increase in brand value to $36.2 billion, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, an independent brand valuation consultancy. The brand has further widened its lead, as second-placed Pepsi suffers an 8% drop in brand value to $18.5 billion.

Aside from calculating overall brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. According to these criteria, Coca-Cola is the world’s strongest brand across the food and non-acholic drink sectors with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 89.9 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA+ brand strength rating.

In the food space, Switzerland’s Nestlé once again tops the list, although its brand value increased by just 1% year-on-year to $19.6 billion. The brand celebrated a boost in organic growth, following stronger performances in the brand’s two largest markets, China and the United States. The brand has successfully capitalized on the popular vegan and vegetarian movements. Nestlé has also recently bought the rights to sell its products under the Starbucks brand name, opening vast opportunities globally through Starbuck’s immense power as the world’s biggest coffee chain company.

When looking at the brand portfolios across the food and drinks sector, Nestlé’s portfolio is the most valuable with a combined brand value of $70.5 billion, up 11% on the previous year.

Corporate brands Kraft (down 7% to $4.5 billion), Unilever (down 5% to $4.2 billion), and Heinz (down 14% to $3.3 billion) have all suffered from a decline in brand values, with Unilever and Heinz falling out of the top 10 in the food ranking.

Dairy brands Danone and Yili claim second and third place in the food ranking, respectively, and top the dairy ranking. After recording an impressive 24% increase in brand value to $7.7 billion, Yili has closed the gap considerably with Danone, after the French giant suffered a 10% loss in brand value to $8.1 billion.

Across the sector there are some standout brands that have either entered the rankings for the first time or have recorded significant growth in brand value. Canada’s McCain has entered the food top 10 for the first time (up 25% to $4.7 billion). PepsiCo-owned porridge brand Quaker is the sector’s fastest-growing, recording an impressive 57% increase in brand value to $3 billion. Expanding beyond traditional porridge, Quaker has managed to take the humble oat and launch a wide variety of new products, including flavored oats and overnight oats.

Report [pdf] 

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