According to Alcoholic Drinks 2020 report by Brand Finance, assessing the impact of COVID-19 on an enterprise value of beer, spirits and champagne & wine brands, the world’s most valuable alcoholic drinks could lose up to US$33 billion worth of brand value as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The analysis shows that beer brands will be heavily impacted, facing a potential 20% brand value loss, while spirits and champagne & wine brands likely to be moderately impacted, facing a potential 10% brand value loss.
The industry is witnessing mixed fortunes as on one hand, the almost global lockdown and closures of bars and restaurants have resulted in the standstill of on-trade sales.
Off-trade sales, however, in the supermarkets and bottle shops, have spiked as consumers shift towards consuming alcoholic drinks at home.
“It is yet to be seen whether this spike can offset the loss and therefore how brands will fare in the coming year,” said Richard Haigh, Managing Director, Brand Finance.
In the Brand Finance Beers 2020 ranking, Corona tops the list as the world’s most valuable beer brand with a value of US$8.1 billion.
The leading Mexican brand is imported into a staggering 120 countries and sales remain solid across its key markets, including China and South Africa.
With China being Corona’s largest market, outside of Mexico, the unfortunate combination of the coincidence in name with the pandemic and strict nationwide lockdown across the nation at the beginning of the year, caused a decline in sales.
The makers of Corona have, however, hit back at allegations that the pandemic has damaged its brand, claiming that consumers understand that there is no link between the two.
The Danish beer brand, Tuborg, has been ranked the world’s fastest-growing beer brand following a 26% brand value increase to US$968 million.
Tuborg posted a solid year in sales, with strong performances in China and India, the latter market accounting for more than two-thirds of the brand’s annual sales.
In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation.
According to these criteria, Budweiser with brand value down 14% to US$6.4 billion has been ranked the world’s strongest beer brand with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 85.2 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating.
In Brand Finance’s global brand monitor study, Budweiser performed particularly well in the consideration and familiarity metrics, unsurprising as Budweiser is a truly global brand with a strong presence and awareness thanks to its high-profile advertising and sponsorship deals, including with the Premier League and La Liga.
Despite AB InBev citing a drop in revenue for its global brands, including Budweiser, from the pandemic, the trend for consumers to pivot towards well-known brands rather than trying new beers stands the brand in good stead in the coming year compared to its lesser-known counterparts.
In the spirit segment, Chinese spirits brands continue to dominate the top 3 in the Brand Finance Spirits 2020 ranking with Moutai coming first with a rise brand value of 29% to US$39.3 billion, Wuliangye up 30% to US$20.9 billion came in second and Yanghe down 15% to US$7.7 billion was third.
According to the report, the spirits market in China is flourishing as disposable income and living standards continue to rise across the nation. Consumers are now turning towards top quality and middle to high-end premium baijiu brands.
In this year’s ranking, Chinese spirits’ brand values increased by 14% on average, while non-Chinese spirits brands decreased by 0.1% on average.
Irish giant, Baileys, is the fastest-growing spirits brand, recording a staggering 105% brand value growth to US$1.3 billion.
The brand has committed to its three-year-long strategy of repositioning the brand, transforming it to a drink that can be consumed on many occasions.
This, paired with the exponential sales growth of the brand over the previous four years, has placed the spirits giant in a strong position.
Don Julio is the world’s strongest spirits brand with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88.7 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating. Its brand value rose 79% to US$958 million.
Available in over 40 countries, Don Julio has registered a strong sales increase of 14.5% this year, reaching 1.7 million nine-litre cases and being subsequently named the Tequila Brand Champion of 2020.
Baileys and Don Julio’s parent company, global drinks giant Diageo, has however warned of a significant sales hit, estimated at just over €200 million, as the brand suffers from bar and pub closures as well as travel restrictions, which are significantly impacting airport sales.
Moët et Chandon with a brand value of US$1.4 billion has claimed the title of the world’s most valuable champagne & wine brand in Brand Finance’s inaugural ranking.
As one of the largest and oldest champagne producers in the world, the Moët et Chandon brand is instantly recognisable as a prestigious luxury item – aided by its association with LVMH – and a staple in popular culture, recently celebrating its 29th anniversary as the official champagne of the Golden Globes.
Moët et Chandon is also the world’s strongest champagne & wine brand with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 79.0 out of 100 and a corresponding AA+ brand strength rating.
As the leading Champagne brand in the industry, Moët et Chandon has enjoyed an improved financial performance and brand equity score this year, also remaining a firm favourite amongst consumers, scoring highly for customer recommendation and consideration.
Chinese winery, Changyu closely follows Moët et Chandon in second place, with a brand value of US$1.3 billion.
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