Coca-Cola reigns supreme as ‘world’s most chosen brand’ – but other beverages make surprise moves up in Kantar brand rankings...

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: getty/ket4up
Pic: getty/ket4up

Related tags Coca-cola Red bull Monster energy Nescafe branding

Coca-Cola has solidified its status as the world’s most chosen FMCG brand with a staggering global reach. But other beverages have also seen standout performances this year...

Kantar Worldpanel’s annual ranking of global FMCG brands puts Coca-Cola on top once again. Other beverage brands also enjoy prominent positions in the report, Most Chosen Global FMCG Brands 2023. Pepsi comes in at #7, Nescafe at #10 and Sprite at #18.

Meanwhile, Gatorade is at #19, Red Bull is at #20 and Monster comes in at #24. Mountain Dew ranks at #29, Fanta at #33 and Dr. Pepper at #39.

'Standout performer': Red Bull

Coca-Cola’s top spot is no surprise: having consistently held the position for over a decade.

It comes in with the highest 'Consumer Reach Point' in the rankings (a metric of reach and popularity) of a whopping 8.29 billion, according to Kantar, maintaining its top position on the chart for the 12th​ year running by a long way (brand #2, Colgate, comes in at 4.4 billion).

brand footprint top 5

But in terms of growth, Red Bull emerges as this year’s standout performer in the charts: demonstrating the strongest growth in global consumer brands.

The brand saw a 17.8% increase in CRP, climbing six spots in the rankings.

Red Bull – the globally known energy-drink – has risen strongly despite an ongoing backlash against sugary and caffeinated drinks.

Part of that is because of Red Bull’s defining identity with extreme sports, boosted recently by Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive’​ series on Formula One.

A key metric is the Consumer Reach Point, which measures and compares the success of brands across different markets and regions. The metric covers population (scale of market where the brand is available); penetration (percentage of households that purchase the brand); and consumer choice (frequency of purchases).

While entrepreneurial contenders such as Prime and Celsius​ have hit the headlines, Red Bull continued to grow quietly and consistently with turnover surging 9% in 2023 and with 12,138 billion cans sold around the world.

And growth has been consistent since its first appearance in Kantar’s BrandZ Most Valuable Global Brands report in 2009 (then its brand value was $8bn; today it’s $18.5bn).

How's it achieved such success? Red Bull has consistently positioned itself above soft drinks, with premium pricing and its extreme sports association, says Graham Staplehurst of Kantar BrandZ.

And it’s managed to engage both its original generation of drinkers while constantly recruiting more.

“Red Bull is seen as distinct, integral and relevant to consumers,” he said. “Staying relevant and unique over decades is no small feat: it requires a deep understanding of market and consumer desires.”

Helping boost its engagement with new consumers were new innovations in 2023: such as its Organics by Red Bull line with flavors such as Simply Cola and Ginger Ale.

red bull summer edition

The brand also launched a limited edition range for its energy drinks with new taste profiles, such as Tropical Fruits, Coconut and Berry, Cactus Fruit, Watermelon and more.

Red Bull’s consumer reach point expanded by 18%, and that's thanks to such innovations, said Virginia Garavaglia, global head of marketing for Worldpanel Division, Kantar.

“71% of Red Bull’s market experienced significant penetration grow: particularly in China, the US and Germany.

“Formula 1 racing was central to the strategy, and so was innovation.

"Red Bull innovated with its Organics by Red Bull soft drink line, with flavors like simply cola and ginger ale, crafted without artificial additives.

"The brand also Red Bull Summer and Red Bull Winter edition, offering the same energy boosting benefits as the original but with new flavors including tropical fruit and coconut.”

Thought there was no growth for instant coffee? Think again... 

Nescafé stands as the world’s leading coffee brand, showing an increase of 5.7% on its Consumer Reach Point in 2023 from the year before.

With a global household penetration of 28.4%, its influence in coffee is ‘unmatched’, says Indriss El Ganari, general manager, Africa and Middle East, Worldpanel Division, Kantar.

The brand expanded its shopper base by 13.8m globally in 2023, outpacing any other coffee brand. That despite the fact that less than half of the global population buys instant coffee.

And that low coverage means the brand has growth opportunities, particularly in developing markets. In India and Nigeria, for example, the brand is increasing product availability and working to build its brand.

In India, its initiatives have been ‘pivotal’, introducing and nurturing a coffee culture in a traditional tea market. 

Nescafé has introduced its coffee to more than 30 million Indian households in the past seven years, according to Nestle. In fact, the brand added 10 million consumers in 2023 alone.

The brand is particularly focused on growing the coffee culture among Indian youth​ and establishing the role of coffee in their lives.

nescafe ice cream

Like Red Bull, the brand has seen success in diversifying: in 2023, it ventured into the ice cream category with the launch of Nescafé Gold Cappuccino Ice Cream: a product with real coffee in the coating and core.

That represents a new standard for the category, which usually relies on flavorings.

Meanwhile, Nescafé Ice was launched in Mexico and Mainland China: where cold coffee beverages are particularly popular.

“The brand’s ability to continuously innovate and expand ensures it remains at the forefront of the coffee industry,” said El Ganari. “In markets like Brazil, India, Mexico and Vietnam, its also embraced digital platforms to enhance accessibility and engagement.”

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