Coca-Cola remains world's most-chosen brand

03 August 2018 4 min. read

Coca-Cola remained the most chosen brand in Kantar Worldpanel’s ranking of fast-moving consumer packaged goods. Second-place Colgate had the highest penetration of global households, while seasoning, soup, and noodles brand Maggi posted the fastest growth for a global brand. Meanwhile, Unilever had the most brands with over one billion Consumer Reach Points.

This year’s Brand Footprint Top 50 ranking of the world’s most-chosen fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands pored over data from 18,000 brands and 1 billion households across 43 countries on five continents. FMCG goods include food, beverages, dairy, health and beauty, and homecare. The in-depth study – conducted annually by research and consulting firm Kantar Worldpanel – measures real consumer behaviour rather than attitude. The ranking uses Consumer Reach Points (CRPs) that shows a true representation of shopper choice by measuring how many households are buying a brand (penetration) and how often (consumer choice).

On the surface, brands seem to be faring worse, seemingly as lower-cost private labels and decreasing brand loyalty cut into their market share. Kantar’s report admits that the FMCG brand growth was sluggish in 2017 with a higher number of brands in decline, but that there is still reason for optimism. The number of net CRPs actually increased by 1 million to 354 billion brand choices – meaning that while fewer brands grew, the net impact of the ones that grew outweighed the impact of the greater number that didn’t.

“A lot has been said about the FMCG market being more challenging in recent times, and despite all this, 22 among the top 50 global brands managed to be chosen by consumers more times in the last 12 months,” said Josep Montserrat, CEO of Kantar Worldpanel. Montserrat says that growing channels like e-commerce, discounters, cash-and-carry, and convenience stores are areas where brands can look to invest in to capture more consumers.Brand Footprint 2018 Global Ranking Top 50In total, 17 fast-moving consumer goods brands were chosen by consumers more than 1 billion times a year. Coca-Cola was the most-chosen brand in the world, selected from shelves 5.8 billion times in 2017. The popular cola beverage maintained the top spot for the sixth consecutive year. Colgate was the second-most popular brand, and the only one chosen by a majority of the global population – with 62% penetration of households.

Seasoning, soup, and instant noodle brand Maggi was the fastest-growing global Top 50 brand, posting 14% growth in its Consumer Reach Points. The brand has bounced back in a strong way since alleged high lead levels in its noodles caused its products to be removed from Indian shelves in 2015. After the ban was struck down by the Bombay high court, which questioned the test results of unaccredited food science laboratories, parent company Nestle launched a massive ad campaign to restore brand trust. The brand has clearly rebounded, gaining 365 million CRPs last year after losing 200 million in 2016 in India, a country representing almost 30% of its CRPs.

The Top 50 brand that saw the greatest decline was orange juice concentrate Tang (#38), which saw its CRPs fall by 11% to 758 million. Rising to popularity on the back of its use in NASA’s space program in the 60s, perhaps the orange juice powder’s fortunes have fallen because consumers don’t want to make their drinks from powder as much, or because they don’t want to pay a brand premium to do so. Or maybe it’s because, as Buzz Aldrin related at the 2013’s Spike TV Guys Choice Awards, “Tang sucks.”Global manufacturer rankingSix out of the 17 brands chosen over a billion times are owned by British-Dutch consumer packaged goods conglomerate Unilever. Altogether, the company amassed 36 billion Consumer Reach Points. Unilever had Lifebuoy soap, Sunsilk hair care products, and Knorr food products in the top ten, while Dove, Lux, and Sunlight were also in the ‘billion club.’ Rotterdam-headquartered Unilever had revenues of $63 billion last year.

The rest of the top 10 manufacturers were rounded out by well-known super-corporations like Nestle, Procter & Gamble, and Kraft-Heinz, though none approached the dominance of Unilever in terms of CRP performance. Second-place Nestle had only about a third of Unilever’s total CRPs last year, reaching 12.4 billion.

Local brands continue to grow

Kantar’s report also found that local brands continued to grow last year at the expense of global ones. Local brands took home 64.6% of brand spend, up from 64.2% in 2016, and 63.8% in 2015. Local brands tend to be better able to adapt to local market needs, trends, and tastes – generally a tougher task for global brands, who have to manage performance across multiple countries and continents. Among categories, global brands are strongest in homecare (47%) and beauty and personal care (58.4%), though they are still losing share to local brands in both categories.

Global brands have, however, been doing well in the beverage segment – rising 0.2% in global market spend from 2015 to 38.3% in 2017. Clearly, people around the world still enjoy Coca-Cola and Pepsico’s wide raft of beverage products.