Worth $7.5bn, the Anheuser-Busch brand’s value has increased 6%, attributed to its global sponsorship campaign with the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Brewing giant AB InBev has 11 brands in Brand Finance Beers 25 rankings, while Scottish independent brewer BrewDog is the highest new entrant in the chart (taking 19th position with a brand value of $1.5bn).
China’s Snow and Tsingtao brands recorded the fastest growth, up 52% and 49% respectively, while Aguila is ranked as the world’s strongest beer brand.
How Bud became king
Budweiser claims the top spot as the world’s most valuable beer brand for the first time, overtaking long-standing leader Bud Light.
Budweiser’s FIFA World Cup campaign last year was the brand’s most expensive to date, reaching 3.2 billion football fans globally. Perhaps more important, however, was that it enabled Budweiser to accelerate growth in new markets, including South Africa, Colombia, China and Australia.
While Budweiser grew 6.2% in value, Bud Light fell 5% to $7bn, leaving it second in the rankings.
“Budweiser and Bud Light, the flagship brands of Belgian brewing giant AB InBev, have had to contend with the changing consumer drinking habits across the US,” says Brand Finance in its report.
“The general decline in beer consumption across millennials, and the preference for healthier alcohol-free alternatives have contributed to the slowdown in their brand value growth compared to previous years.
“The AB InBev portfolio still dominates the rankings, however, with 11 brands claiming spots in the top 25, down from 13 last year.”
Heineken takes the number 3 spot in the rankings, with a brand value of $6.7bn, up 11% from last year.
Fastest growth comes from China
This year it is Asian - and particularly Chinese - beer brands that are recording the highest value growth.
“With demand for beer at an all-time high in China and predictions of inflated growth over the coming years as a result of greater disposable income from the emerging middle class, this trend looks set to continue,” observes Brand Finance. “If these brands begin to expand beyond China and into new markets, we could potentially see some very stiff competition to established Western beer brands.”
China’s Snow is the fastest-growing brand in the rankings and reaches the top 10 for the first time this year, with a 52% rise in brand value to $3.7bn. Snow is already the best-selling beer in the world with 101.2 million hectolitres of beer sold per year - more than double that of Budweiser’s sales.
“The brand, which historically has only been sold in China, has made a number of strategic partnerships in order to raise its global presence, notably with Dutch brewing giant Heineken and America’s Molson Coors,” observes Brand Finance.
Tsingtao (up 49% to $1.7bn) has risen nine places in the ranking, more than any other brand.
“The brand continues to retain its loyal customer base in its home country and is also the most exported Chinese beer, sold in over 100 countries and regions globally. As with other Chinese brands, Tsingtao faces fierce competition from other global brewing giants but despite this, Tsingtao has recorded strong sales growth over the last year.”
One to watch: BrewDog
Maverik Scottish craft beer brand, BrewDog, is the highest new entrant in the ranking in 19th position, with a brand value of $1.5bn.
“The brand is undertaking ambitious growth plans across key international markets, with new breweries and bars in the pipeline both at home in the UK and abroad,” observes Brand Finance.
“Its flagship beer, Punk IPA, is already the number one craft beer in the UK and the brand is striving to make it the beer of choice internationally. The brand is committed to expansion, with gin and vodka already in its portfolio, it is widening its reach further by entering into the whiskey market, in a bid to make it more playful. In 2018, BrewDog announced its foray into the hotels business, opening the doors to the world’s first craft beer hotel, The DogHouse.”
Determining brand value
Brand value is determined by the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.
Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. According to this criteria, Colombia’s Aguila is the world’s strongest beer brand with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88.41 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating.
The full report can be found here.