While it was hit by a drop in brand value, Corona remains the world’s most valuable beer brand. Belgian beer brand Michelob is the fastest growing brand, posting 39% growth in brand value. Australian brand, XXXX, and Spain’s Estrella Damm are the second and third fastest growing brands, up 37% and 31% respectively.
But the world’s top 50 beer brands lost 16% of their cumulative brand value due to the pandemic. Lockdowns and restrictions in the on-trade have severely diminished demand for beers. Brands which already had a strong reputation and high levels of familiarity with consumers are those best primed to weather the storm, says Brand Finance.
Corona remains most valuable beer brand
Corona has retained the title of the world’s most valuable beer brand, despite recording a 28% drop in brand value to US$5.8bn.
As the bestselling imported drink in the US, with an additional presence in over 120 countries, the Mexican brand has also recently become one of the fastest growing grocery products in the UK.
Early in the pandemic, the brand attracted numerous articles and social media posts claiming the brand had been losing sales and brand equity due to its naming similarity with the pandemic, although Constellation Brands* said that this had not been reflected in sales. While it remains to difficult to tell how much the virus associations with the name have affected the brand (compared to the impact of lockdowns and restrictions), the overall result is that Corona remains a strong brand.
“Over the last year, the brand has been met with some hesitancy, particularly in the US, as Americans are hesitant to purchase its products due to its similarity in name to coronaviruses,” says Brand Finance. “It is this area of public opinion that could be behind the beer’s slight dip in brand value this year, although it remains exemplary of the resilience of a strong and reputable global brand, recently announcing an initiative to help the restaurant industry recover from the effects of the pandemic.”
All of the top 10 beer brands have seen a drop in value in 2021, with the exception of Asahi
AB Inbev’s Michelob bucks industry trends as the fastest growing brand, climbing 13 spots in the ranking following 39% brand value growth to US$1.2bn. Meanwhile, Australia’s XXXX (owned by Lion) rises from 50th place to 35th place, representing the second fastest growing beer brand, according to the rankings.
Victoria is strongest beer brand
In addition to measuring 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. Victoria (down 13% to US$4.0 billion) has jumped ten spots in the brand strength ranking to become the world’s strongest beer brand, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 87.8 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating.
“As one of the oldest beers produced in Mexico, Victoria has become a firm favourite in its home country, where it is the most traditional out of Grupo Modelo’s brand portfolio. Owned by AB InBev, the Mexican beer brand has undoubtedly benefited from parent company’s positive reputation and the strength of its wider brand portfolio.”
* Constellation Brands owns the Corona brand in the US; while AB InBev retains the rights to Corona elsewhere.