Budweiser has claimed the top spot as the world’s most valuable beer brand for the first time, overtaking long-standing leader Bud Light, according to the latest report by independent brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance.
BrewDog, meanwhile, is the highest new entrant in the ranking in 19th position, with a brand value of US$1.5 billion.
Budweiser’s brand value has increased 6% to US$7.5 billion, following the immense success of its global sponsorship campaign of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The campaign, the brand’s most expensive to date, reached 3.2 billion football fans globally, accelerating growth in new markets including South Africa, Colombia, China and Australia.
Budweiser and Bud Light (down 5% to US$7.0 billion), the flagship brands of Belgian brewing giant AB InBev, have had to contend with the changing consumer drinking habits across the US. 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. The brewer closed the third largest acquisition in history in 2016, after merging with SABMiller, and has since been tackling its mountainous debt pile, predominantly through sales drives.
China’s Snow is the fastest-growing brand in this year’s Brand Finance Beers 25 ranking and has broken into the top 10 for the first time, with a 52% rise in brand value to US$3.7 billion. Snow is the best-selling beer in the world, clocking up 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 Heineken and Molson Coors.
Tsingtao (up 49% to US$1.7 billion) has jumped up 9 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.
Said David Haigh, CEO, Brand Finance, “As you can see across this year’s ranking, it is the Asian, particularly Chinese, beer brands that are seeing the highest brand 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. 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.”