- Soda sales may continue to decline as health-conscious consumers seek better-for-you alternatves, but fizzy beverage companies still dominate brand value for non-alcoholic drinks across the board, according to Brand Finance's Soft Drinks 25 2016 rankings report.
- Coca-Cola remains the leading global soft drink brand with a $34.2 billion brand value in 2016, though that number fell from $35.8 billion last year. PepsiCo followed in the No. 2 slot with $18.9 billion, a decrease from $21.4 billion last year.
- Red Bull ($6.5 billion) and Nescafe ($6.2 billion) retained their No. 3 and No. 4 positions, respectively, but last year's No. 5, Sprite ($3.8 billion), fell to No. 7 this year after Lipton ($4.2 billion) increased its value to take this year's No. 5 spot.
Of the top 10 soft drink brands, soda brands held five spots. All of those brands saw their sales decline except Mountain Dew (No. 9), which may be benefiting from a series of marketing campaigns and throwback brand reintroductions. Despite declines in brand value, soda brands remain some of the most widely consumed beverages in the U.S., which means any turnaround for the category could be a game-changer as beverage companies continue to diversify.
RTD tea, bottled water, sports drinks and energy drinks comprised most of the rest of the soft drinks list, and they were among the fastest-growing categories outlined in an IRI report earlier this year. Beverages continue to offer manufacturers significant potential for growth if they can align with the right trends at key moments.
Folgers, Lipton and Nescafe were among the soft drink brands with the highest brand value growth at 33%, 19% and 18%, respectively. Folgers growth could be rebounding from a slow 2015, when the brand was dealing with lagging sales. Smucker had raised prices due to high coffee costs, and competition in the segment increased.
Tropicana, Red Bull and Pepsi posted the largest brand value declines at 15%, 12% and 11%, respectively. Sales dips in the juice category overall impacted Tropicana, one of the best-known brands in the category. Energy drinks continue to grapple with health concerns from consumers and public health advocates, related lawsuits and increased competition from startups entering the segment with natural alternatives and exotic flavors and ingredients.