This follows brand changes made by Coca-Cola during the pandemic, such as the acceleration of its business transformation model to reduce sugar in its drink offerings and improve environmental sustainability in packaging and recycling. These are likely to have an ongoing effect on its brand value.
“As pandemic restrictions recede in the rear-view mirror, many non-alcoholic brand values are surging. People are once again able to easily get together for a Coke, a Pepsi, a coffee or a cup of tea. This is good for consumers and good for brand values in this sector of the economy,” says Savio D’Souza, head of EMEA Consulting, Brand Finance.
Every year, brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the world’s biggest brands to the test and publishes around 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries.
The iconic and world-leading drinks brand is rejuvenating its brand offering to meet consumer and regulatory demand for low sugar content beverages.
Formerly famous for its sugary sweet flavour, the Coca-Cola brand now offers many zero-sugar products to remain relevant in a competitive industry.
Coca-Cola consumption patterns were disrupted by the pandemic, with a substantial reduction in social gatherings in many parts of the world.
The brand’s innovative ‘Emerging Stronger’ strategy aims to make Coca-Cola an integral part of people celebrating the return of more shared social experiences, while also focusing the company’s efforts on a smaller number of sub-brands.
In addition to brand value, Brand Finance determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance.
Compliant with ISO 20671, Brand Finance’s assessment of stakeholder equity incorporates original market research data from over 100,000 respondents in more than 35 countries and across nearly 30 sectors.
Not only is Coca-Cola the most valuable brand in the ranking, but it is also the strongest brand with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 93.3 out of 100 and a corresponding elite AAA+ brand rating.
Coca-Cola has created an extremely strong brand awareness across the world, with consumers strongly associating the brand with celebrations and positive feelings.
Pepsi (brand value up 12% to $20.7bn) has retained its position as the second most valuable, and second-strongest brand in the non-alcoholic drinks sector - with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 90.1 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA+ rating.
Pepsi also acknowledges a new business reality whereby consumers are becoming more interested in the future of the planet and society. its strategy places sustainability and human capital at the centre of how it creates growth and value.
Monster (brand value up 29% to $6.3bn), Lipton (brand value up 27% to $3.2bn) and Gatorade (brand value up 26% to $5.3bn) were the three fastest-growing brands in the non-alcoholic drinks sector this year, with each brand growing by just under a third as Covid restrictions have reduced.
During the pandemic, many consumers would have likely experienced an increase in health and wellness consciousness along with the need to stay energised. It is therefore not too surprising that energy drinks Monster and Gatorade saw increases in brand values of 29% and 26% respectively.
Certain regions in the US and Europe also experienced record-breaking high temperatures during various stages of pandemic-induced lockdowns and this may also have played a part in the high demand for these brands.
Notably, Monster (brand value increase of 29%) has attributed its success in the market to its unique packaging and its belief in the need to constantly review it based on new guidelines.
On the other hand, Gatorade (brand value increase of 26%) has considered changes to its packaging more cautiously with that remaining somewhat consistent over the years.
Consumers during this period experienced the restrictions of having to consume their drinks at home and not at their favourite restaurants or usual morning coffee shops, most likely also saw this as an opportunity to increase their consumption in a more affordable manner.
Fine tea brand Lipton increased in its brand value by 27%, the second highest recorded in the ranking. The luxury coffee pod manufacturer Nespresso which recently launched its Nespresso editions digital engagement platform to bring inspirational moments to customers enjoying their coffee at home, also increased by 13% in this category.
View the full Brand Finance Non-alcoholic Drinks 25 report here