The beverages industry has an average Brand Intimacy Quotient of 35.1, below the cross-industry average of 38.3. It ranks seventh this year, the same position as last year. Coca-Cola remains the no. 1 brand in the industry, with Pepsi rising to second place. Heineken and Tropicana also improved their positions, but Coors, Snapple, and Jack Daniel’s declined since our 2020 COVID study.
The beverages industry maintains its seventh position in the rankings in our 2021 study. The industry increased its average Quotient Score by 3.4 percent. The beverages industry performs better with men than with women and with consumers over 35 years old versus those under 35.
Although the industry has faced manufacturing and supply chain challenges related to COVID, Brand Intimacy performance has increased by an average of 11 percent since before the pandemic. Despite the hardships that COVID imposed on people and businesses, this period has actually drawn consumers closer to brands and created stronger emotional relationships.
The beverages industry reduced its percentage of users in the earliest stage of intimacy, sharing, by 14 percent. This suggests fewer new users are connecting with beverages brands. Positively, the category increased its performance in fusing—the most advanced stage of intimacy—by 21 percent; this means those who are connecting with the brand are able to deepen their relationship to the most significant level. Indulgence and nostalgia continue to be the strongest archetypes associated with the category.
Although the beverages industry remains in seventh place overall, some notable improvements have occurred. Compared to our previous COVID study, more than 41 percent of consumers have an increased positive emotional connection with beverages brands. Daily usage has increased 17 percent, and the percentage of users reporting they can’t live without a brand has risen dramatically by 75 percent. Coca-Cola continues to lead across all demographics except among people aged 45–64, who prefer Pepsi.
Comparing the top two beverages brands, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, we see Coca-Cola exhibiting stronger associations in all archetypes except identity. In terms of stages, the brands are very close in sharing and bonding, but Coca-Cola is 26 percent higher than Pepsi in fusing. The number of Coca-Cola users who can’t live without the brand has more than doubled to 45 percent, compared to Pepsi’s 32 percent.
* This is a ranked sub-brand. We share its industry performance. Given its similar profile, see parent brand for overall ranking.