Coca-Cola is world’s most valuable drink brand, but not fastest-growing

7 Sep 2021

After 129 years of making soda, Coca-Cola remains the world’s most valuable soft drink brand – reporting revenue that is 55% more than the No. 2 market leader, PepsiCo. Coca-Cola retained its ranking despite recording a 13% brand value decline to $33.2 billion, according to the Brand Finance Food & Drink 2021 Report.

Additionally, the Atlanta-based beverage giant has the designation of being the world’s strongest soft drink brand, and the 4th strongest brand in the world according to the Brand Finance Global 500 2021 ranking.

Coca-Cola is world’s most valuable drink brand, but not fastest-growing
Image via Mae Mu on Unsplash

Although all sectors of the food and beverage industry were affected by the pandemic due to demand shifts and supply chain constraints, soft drink brands were the most severely impacted subset. The world’s top 25 most valuable soft drinks brands declining by 6%, from US$114.8 billion in 2020 to US$107.5 billion in 2021.

However, this decline in sales revenue cannot be exclusively attributed to the pandemic. For over a decade now, carbonated soft drinks have struggled with sales slowdowns as consumers have migrated toward healthier alternatives like tea, water, juice and sports drinks. As this trend has become a tidal wave, companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have responded by innovating within these adjacent categories. One of the spaces in which both companies have invested heavily is energy drinks.

In 2020, PepsiCo purchased Rockstar for $3.85 billion and has more recently been leveraging the popularity of its Mtn Dew line to release energy beverages that are promoted by well-known personalities. Coca-Cola has taken a slightly different approach, choosing to take market leaders Red Bull and Monster head on with its own-brand energy drinks. Most notably, Coca-Cola dissolved its distribution partnership with Monster to launch Coca-Cola Energy in 2019. Despite the effort behind rolling out its own energy beverage, the soft drink giant announced in May that it will discontinue sales of this energy beverage in North America.

While Coca-Cola is leaving a gap in the energy drink market, there are plenty of brands that are willing to try and fill it, but Red Bull, it seems, may be at the head of the pack. According to the Brand Finance report, Red Bull experienced a 15% brand value increase last year and sold eight million units of its beverage in 2020. This landed the Austrian brand in third place on the soft drinks ranking right behind PepsiCo and Coca-Cola.

Dr. Pepper is another brand that has seen significant growth in the past year even as Coca-Cola has stagnated. The Texas soft drink brand recorded a 40% increase in brand value, and this jump catapulted the brand into the list of Top 10 most valuable soft drink brands, taking eighth place.

Nescafé, Monster Energy, Sprite, Gatorade, Mtn Dew and Lipton round out the Top 10 list of brands that dominate the public consciousness for sugar-sweetened beverages and are considered to be the most valuable by Brand Finance.

Read the Ranking Report Here

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