What can we learn from the world’s most valuable alcohol brands?

July 9, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Kantar, the world’s leading marketing data and analytics business, has released its BrandZ Most Valuable Global Brands 2024 report, which includes its list of the top 20 most valuable alcohol brands. Overall, total alcohol brand value rose 5% over the course of 2024, with the top 20 brands being worth a total of almost AUD $345,500 million. 

Topping the list was Moutai, a Chinese baijiu made from sorghum. According to Kantar, Moutai has a brand value of more than AUD $127,000 million, more than a third of the total value of the top 20 most valuable brands combined. Whilst dominant, Moutai’s 2024 brand value reflected a 2% decline on its 2023 worth, attributed to challenging market conditions that have led to steeper declines across other leading baijiu brands. Han Ye, Lead Partner of Kantar’s China Advisory Business, believes one of Moutai’s strengths has been its ability to adapt to younger demographics.

“In China, baijiu brands are trying to win over younger generations – which they have realised means building associations with new moods and occasions,” said Han Ye in the Kandar report.

“Over the past two years, you have seen the category leader, Moutai, branch into ice cream. Moutai has also collaborated with some very well known coffee and milk tea brands. This has made young people more interested, while also bringing the entry-level price down to one that’s more accessible for Gen Z.”

To put these partnerships into perspective, Moutai’s collaboration with the Luckin Coffee chain sold 5.4 million cups of baijiu-infused coffee on its first day alone. With the tendency for younger demographics to steer away from traditional drinking occasions and towards moderation, it will become increasingly important for brands to adapt in ways that cater to changing needs and that maintain brand reputation.

“Importantly, they have done this while still maintaining Moutai’s premium positioning – because they chose the right brands to collaborate with,” said Han Ye.

Following Moutai, the next most valuable baijiu brand was Wu Liang Ye, with a brand value of more than AUD $13,500 million positioning it as the seventh most valuable brand overall. After that, Chinese baiju brands National Cellar 1573 and Luzhou Laojiao landed in 10th and 19th place respectively. 

The other dominant category revealed by Kantar’s top 20 is beer, responsible for 11 of the top 20 most valuable alcohol brands. Corona, Budweiser, and Heineken led out the category placing in second, third, and fourth respectively with a combines total value of almost AUD $70,000 million collectively. According to the report, the 5% growth of liquor overall was mostly due to the strong performance of beer, offering a better value proposition in the face of growing economic pressures. Corona, the most valuable beer brand, was recognised by Kantar as having effectively drawn on its authentic Mexican roots. While Corona sales within Mexico remain flat, sales in key export markets such as China are growing as a result of its effective marketing campaigns.

Also in the top-20 were non-Baiju spirits brands Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniel’s, Hennessy, and Smirnoff, along with a single wine brand, Moët & Chandon, in 20th. 

For more information and to view the report, click here.

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