In today’s world, the average consumer has more choice than ever before. That makes for a tough market and brands are busy fighting it out on supermarket shelves around the globe.
Those in the lead are the most purchased brands – growing their customer base and keeping existing customers happy and therefore loyal. It’s fascinating to look at who’s sitting in those much-coveted top five slots – and perhaps to learn a thing or two about their path to success.
For your information, the ranking information in this article is drawn from Kantar Worldpanel’s annual Brand Footprint Study, which analyses 11,000 consumer-packaged goods (CPG) brands in 35 countries and ranks them according to how many households around the world are buying them, and how often.
So, without further ado, here are the world’s top five most purchased brands.
No surprises here then. Owned by the Coca-Cola Company, Coke has been top of this particular list (and many others!) since 2012. Adored by its billions of fans around the world, the distinctive bottle and ‘secret ingredient’ continues to bring in billions of dollars for the Coca-Cola Company. In 2013, Coke (including other versions of coca-cola, such as Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Cherry and Coca-Cola Zero) could be purchased in more than 200 countries, with consumers drinking an astonishing 1.8 billion servings every single day.
However, although still in first place by quite a healthy margin, according to this study Coke has been losing ‘reach’ points recently. Market experts claim this struggle to maintain sales growth is happening mostly in developed markets, like Europe and the US, where many consumers are starting to choose healthier drinks. Could this trend towards greater health pose a real threat to Coke’s ongoing success? Or will their indubitable marketing genius keep them in poll position for good?
A far less sexy product makes it into second place on the list of most-purchased brands. But, given how much Coke we all seem to be drinking, perhaps it’s no surprise that a toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash and dental floss brand has such a prominent position!
Owned by Colgate-Palmolive, Colgate is the only brand that you’ll find in more than half of the world’s households. What’s more, Colgate’s hygiene and cosmetic dental products are growing in reach by 3% year on year! Colgate-Palmolive actually started life as William Colgate & Company, selling starch, soap and candles, which were made in a factory in New York way back in 1806.
Colgate was the first toothpaste to be sold in a tube (which was brought out 1896). Before that, all toothpastes came in glass jars – so there’s some proof, if you need it, that product innovation really is worth the investment!
Maggi is Nestle’s most purchased brand around the world. The company makes instant soups, stocks, sauces, and noodles and, with only drink and hygiene products above it in this list, was actually the world’s most chosen food brand last year.
The company was originally Swiss and was founded back in 1872 with an honourable purpose. Julius Maggi was a pioneer of industrial food production, with a keen interest in improving the nutritional intake of simple worker families.
If you’ve never heard of Maggi and are therefore wondering how it could possibly be third in a list of the world’s most purchased brands, consider the following: Nestle has 39% of the market in Malaysia, where “Maggi” is synonymous with instant noodles; and a 60% share in India where it was the first instant noodle brand.
Here’s an interesting one at number four! Lifebuoy is a soap brand owned by Unilever, that’s best known for its philanthropic mission is to improve the hygiene behaviour of 1 billion people across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Through campaigns that are all about educating consumers on hand-washing (particularly children’s hand-washing), Unilever has reached an enormous 95% of the population of Indonesia. This is inspiring stuff! Could we see other brands undertake similar missions to lift themselves in developing markets?
A second top-five position for Nestlé with their instant coffee brand, Nescafe. Although still loved and chosen by millions of customers, the brand has fallen out of favour with some, recently dropping from fourth place to fifth.
Nescafe has actually been around for a surprisingly long time. The company began developing an instant coffee back in 1930 because the Brazilian government wanted to find a solution to help preserve the annual surplus of their country’s substantial coffee harvest.
So there we have it! The world’s top five most popular and purchased brands. It’s interesting to think about what the future might hold… will Coca-Cola maintain their iron grip on the top spot or will a health revolution catch them unaware and send them tumbling down the charts? Will brands with a positive mission at their core – like Lifebuoy and Maggi – stay popular? Or is ‘business with purpose’ just a phase?