The World’s Biggest Beverage Brands

May 26, 2016
By Alana House

The name ‘megabrand’ has an uneasy positioning in the alcoholic beverage market, and while many look on with envy at brands holding market leading positions, a mixture of Australia’s infamous tall poppy syndrome and nationals choosing the best known and most loved brands to lead on price with can cause even the world’s largest brands to feel the pinch.


That being said, when a leader gets behind its own category, the benefits are felt by many, including savvy and astute retailers. Shoppers navigate by brands they know and understand; good store layout recognises those category leaders and uses them to draw traffic in. Sometimes however, megabrands can throw in a surprise or two, most notably when you consider the global nature of the drinks business.


Coca-Cola is one such megabrand and with pull over consumers not only in bottle shops, bars and clubs, but in grocery as well, it’s not surprising that it continues to dominate the global beverage market.


The soft drink brand is currently valued at US$34.2 billion (that’s approximately AUD$45 billion), making it the most valuable drinks brand globally. Topping that, Brand Finance also places Coca-Cola as one of the top 20 brands in the world, sitting alongside the likes of Apple and Google on the Global 500 list.


From China comes the world’s most valuable alcoholic drink, Moutai. Recognised as the best brand of baiju (a traditional Chinese distilled spirit), Moutai has a long and rich history in China, most often consumed as a celebratory drink. Over the last few years, consumers across the world have become acquainted with the unique flavour of Moutai. In fact, in Australia there now exists an entire store dedicated to the spirit.


China also lays claim to the world’s best selling beer brand with Snow Beer, which was recently picked up exclusively by Dan Murphy’s in this country.


But while Snow Beer may be the world’s best selling beer brand, it is the States’ Budweiser that continues to edge out competition as the world’s most valuable beer brand year-on-year.


What began as an American original 139 years ago, is now a global brand today. Key to the positioning and exposure of the brand has been its long alignment with the Super Bowl. Reaching 160 million consumers on average each year, Budweiser’s emotive Labrador puppy advertisements have quickly become one of the biggest topics of conversation surrounding the game.


Australia and New Zealand


This year, Penfolds was named as the World’s Most Admired Wine Brand in Drinks International’s annual poll, toppling two-time winner Torres. Penfolds was also the only Australian wine brand to make it on to the list, as voted by almost 200 global industry experts.


Penfolds is one of the oldest and most prestigious wine brands in Australia, established in 1844 in South Australia, and is recognised locally for raising the benchmark for Australian wine.


Penfolds’ Grange in particular has become synonymous with superiority among aficionados and is collected by many across the globe. Just last year in Australia, Dan Murphy’s sold a bottle of Grange for a staggering $65,000.


MW Dawn Davies told Drinks International why she voted for Penfolds.


“It is one of the few brands to be able to span many price brackets but that has managed to keep its image as a premium brand,” Davies said. “It keeps consistent quality on the wines and ambassadors such as Peter Gago have worked tirelessly to keep the brand fresh in people’s eyes.”


For the second year in a row, Villa Maria was also recognised by the list as the World’s Most Admired ‘New Zealand’ Wine Brand.


The winery placed eighth, above wine brands Château D’Yquem and Tío Pepe; a remarkable achievement considering the youthful age of New Zealand’s wine industry.


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