These are the most valuable beers in the world – including one from South Africa

 ·22 Nov 2018

Bud Light remains the world’s most valuable beer brand, with its brand value increasing by 12% to US$7.4 billion since last year, according to the latest report by brand valuation and strategy consultancy, Brand Finance.

South African brand, Castle Lager makes the list for the first time, coming in at 25th.

Budweiser (up 21% to US$7.1 billion) enjoyed strong growth, retaining second place and narrowing the gap behind Bud Light. Despite a decade of decline in the brand’s American sales, Budweiser continues to benefit from its leadership position in the mainstream beer market.

With an average brand value growth of 19% year on year, other global brands ranked in the Brand Finance Beers 25 league table also hold their own in the face of new challenges posed by the craft beer revolution.

“The world’s biggest beer brands have been able to build deep customer loyalty by representing an accessible but aspirational lifestyle. Creative marketing campaigns are equally important as the taste and packaging. They help the established market leaders compete with challenger brands on their home turf by promising their consumers an experience rather than just a product.

“The top brands will continue to face challenges from craft beers but smart marketing combined with the scale of production and distribution capabilities of the big conglomerates is a strong defence strategy,” said Brand Finance CEO, David Haigh.

AB InBev dominates the ranking as its brands claim 13 out of the top 25 spots. The Belgian conglomerate has had a remarkably successful year with their family of beer brands growing strongly across the world, a credit to its global presence; operating across London, Sao Paulo, New York, Johannesburg, and Mexico City.

AB InBev has also been investing in Africa, where beer consumption is on the rise, and has announced plans to build a US$100m brewery in Tanzania.

Harbin (up 69% to US$3.5 billion) in China and Aguila (up 52% to US$1.4 billion) in Colombia are the world’s fastest-growing beer brands this year ahead of Thailand’s Chang (up 48% to US$1.3 billion) and Mexico’s Corona Extra (up 43% to US$3.4 billion).

Harbin, Aguila, and Corona are all part of the AB InBev family and have been able to leverage the global giant’s output capacities to their advantage.

Asahi (down 34% to US$2.0 billion), on the other hand, lost more brand value this year than any other brand in the ranking and dropped out of the top ten, falling from fifth position in 2017 to twelfth most valuable beer brand this year. This reflects a change in Japanese consumer tastes, with preferences shifting towards other drinks as Japanese beer consumption has been recorded at an all-time low.

Consequently, the Asahi Group has acquired beer brands outside Japan as it seeks to diversify its geographic distribution of earnings.

Aside from determining overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics on marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Along with the level of revenues, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.

According to these criteria, Brazil’s Brahma is the world’s strongest beer brand with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88.3 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand rating.

Brahma invested heavily in building its brand awareness through a series of high-profile advertising campaigns, mustering strong results in the domestic Brazilian market and further complemented by international sales.


Read: This is how much beer, milk and cigarettes cost 10 years ago in South Africa – versus today

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