Maggi is the world’s top food brand: Kantar

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Maggi is the world’s top food brand: Kantar

May 12
10:13 2013

The number one global food brand is Nestlé’s Maggi range of instant soups, stocks, sauces, taste enhancers and noodles, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Unilever’s Knorr brand came second while PepsiCo’s Lay’s brand was third.

The data analyst has produced the first ranking of most chosen global fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands by tracking shoppers’ habits across 32 countries. Kantar claims this is first global ranking of FMCG brands using a new metric called Consumer Reach Points. This tracks shopper behaviour to calculate the number of households buying a brand and the frequency of purchase.

Maggi’s highest growth was in Asia, aided by the success of its instant noodles in India, according to Kantar.


Innovation has played a part in its success, with new launches including Maggi Liquid Seasoning in China, Maggi low fat noodles in Malaysia and the launch of  Maggi Vegetable Atta in India – a wholegrain noodle that contains vegetables.

Rising Spanish bakery brand Bimbo was the sixth highest ranked food brand with the second highest frequency in the sector, purchased on average 14 times a year. It has a strong presence in Latin America where frequency is 23.

Evolving breakfast eating habits in many emerging markets is encouraging growth in many cereal brands. In Korea, cereal has moved from being a substitute for a breakfast meal to being eaten as part of a healthy lifestyle, which has helped sales of Kellogg’s Special K. Kellogg is also seeing brand penetration rise in Brazil where consumers are getting used to eating cereals for breakfast.

Coca-Cola number one drinks brand

Cola-Cola was the number one drinks brand and the world’s most bought brand overall, chosen 5.3bn times a year. Coca-Cola is also the brand leading in the highest number of countries (eight out of 32).

Unilever was the leading manufacturer, with 15 brands in the Top 50, Pepsico had five and The Coca-Cola Company had four.

Top ranked brands gained traction by being strong on both penetration and frequency with a particular focus on emerging growth markets with large populations.

The strongest global brands all demonstrated the following qualities, according to Kantar:

  • A presence in the emerging world – with a focus on penetration in larger fast-developing countries such as Indonesia and China. All had a consistent brand offer that brought economies of scale in production and marketing
  • Quick understanding and response to local needs, innovating product content and packaging to appeal to different preferences, tastes, skin types, lifestyles, values, traditions and demographics
  • Availability – they built the best distribution networks that reached the most remote shoppers in rural areas of countries such as India and Vietnam. Products were also made accessible to new consumer segments and through new and alternative channels, often combining traditional, rural and digital
  • Cross-category presence – They diversify and extend their brand equity to new product ranges across categories and segments – a strategy that has proved successful for Knorr in food.

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