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43 Brands Have Billion Dollar Global Presence


For Immediate Release


Beverages, Tobacco and Snack Foods
Are Strongest Branded Consumer Packaged Products Worldwide

Manufacturers and Retailers Can Use The Insights To Better Understand Competitive Performance and Opportunities

AUCKLAND 1 November 2001 – Only 43 consumer product brands ring up annual sales of more than US$1 billion each and can be considered truly global, according to a study released today by ACNielsen, the global authority on consumer behaviour and marketing information.

All are present in Asia Pacific and two brands – Coca-Cola and Marlboro – made the billion-dollar mark on the strength of their Asia Pacific sales alone. Both achieved over US$1.5 billion sales in the 12 months to March 2001.

“Despite a proliferation of brands in the marketplace and a focus by major manufacturers on being more global, there are relatively few global mega brands out there today,” said Jane Perrin, ACNielsen Managing Director of Global Services, the sponsor of the study, Reaching the Billion Dollar Mark – A Review of Today’s Global Brands. “We looked at well over 200 brands in this study and although more than half had a global presence, they just didn’t have over a billion dollars in sales. Over the next few years, we expect this picture will change dramatically.”

The study’s findings are based on ACNielsen data from 30 countries in North America, Europe-Middle East-Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Together, the countries account for 90 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product. In Asia Pacific, the study covers the major markets of Australia, China, Hong Kong Japan and South Korea.

Leading Categories

The category with the most billion-dollar brands was beverages, with 13 brands making the final list (See Table 1). The total Coca-Cola brand was number one among beverages at well over US$15 billion in sales, with its two sub-brands, Coca-Cola and diet Coke, being billion dollar brands in their own right. Pepsi Cola and its associated sub-brands, Pepsi and Diet Pepsi (including Pepsi Light, Pepsi Max and Pepsi One), ranked as the number two beverage.

There were three snack foods that registered over a billion dollars in global sales (Doritos, Lay’s and Pringles) and four tobacco brands that had a significant global presence and met the billion-dollar criteria (Benson & Hedges, Camel, L&M and Marlboro).

In terms of sales growth, the annual average rate across the 43 brands was less than 10%, but 8 of the 43 brands experienced double-digit growth in the most recent year. Growth across categories showed little consistency.

Manufacturer Predominance

There were 23 manufacturers of these 43 billion-dollar brands. Eight of the 23 companies had more than one brand on the list. Pepisco had the most brands with six. The Philip Morris Companies (including Kraft Foods) and Procter & Gamble each had five brands. The Coca-Cola Company came in at four, with Kimberly-Clark Corporation, The Gillette Company, Mars and Nestlé with two brands each. The 43 brands reported in the study accounted for more than US$125 billion in sales. Nearly three-quarters of these sales were attributable to the eight manufacturers with multiple brands on the list.

Regional Highlights

In general, regional sales of the 43 brands closely follow the global findings. For example, in each of the four regions Coca-Cola and Marlboro were consistently the top two brands of the 43 studied. All of the brands had their largest markets in either North America or Europe, Middle East & Africa, which aligns with regional GDP strength. North America was the dominant region for 24 brands and Europe was dominant for 16 brands. For three brands (Gillette, Pedigree, Always), both North America and Europe shared equal importance.

Benson & Hedges, Coca-Cola, Fanta, Kelloggs, Marlboro, Nescafe and Pepsi were the top brands in Asia Pacific, with sales over US$250 million. All brands except Nescafe derived less than 30% of their global sales from Asia Pacific.


“Although Asia Pacific is behind North America and Europe in terms of share of global sales, many brands have recognized and are already capitalizing on the region’s growth potential,” said Frank Martell, Asia Pacific president of ACNielsen. “14 brands here experienced 10% growth or more in the 12 months to March 2001, comparing very favourably with the global picture, where only 8 brands achieved similar growth rates.”

Table 1. Billion Dollar Global Brands
Source: ACNielsen

(# of countries included, 30 maximum)
Segment Global Sales
for 12 months ending Q1 2001 (US $) Asia Pacific Sales for 12 months ending Q1 2001 (US$)
Total Coca-Cola (30)
Coca-Cola (Regular)*
diet Coke/
Coca-Cola Light*

Marlboro (25)
Marlboro (Regular)*
Marlboro Lights* Carbonated Beverages

Tobacco Over $15 Billion

Over 1.5 billion
Total Pepsi (30)
Pepsi (Regular)*
Diet Pepsi/
Pepsi Light* Carbonated Beverages $5 Billion –
$15 Billion
$250-500 million
Budweiser (25)
Campbell’s (21)
Kellogg’s (27)
Pampers (27) Beer
Diapers $3 Billion –
$5 Billion Under $250 million
Under $250 million
$250-500 million
Under $250 million
Benson & Hedges (21)
Camel (24)
Danone (25)
Fanta (29)
Friskies (24)
Gillette (29)
Huggies (25)
Nescafe (29)
Sprite (30)
Tide (11)
Tropicana (17)
Wrigley’s (27) Tobacco
Carbonated Beverages
Pet Food
Blades & Razors
Carbonated Beverages
Laundry Detergent
Still Beverages
Chewing Gum $2 Billion –
$3 Billion $250-500 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
$250-500 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
$0.5 - 1.5 billion
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Colgate (29)
Duracell (28)
Heineken (26)
Kodak (13)
L&M (18)
Lay’s (22)
Pedigree (25) Toothpaste
Consumer Films
Chips & Snacks
Pet Food $1.5 Billion –
$2 Billion Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million

(# of countries included, 30 maximum)
Segment Global Sales
for 12 months ending Q1 2001 (US $) Asia Pacific Sales for 12 months ending Q1 2001 (US$)
Always (22)
Doritos (20)
Energizer (28)
Gatorade (22)
Guinness (23)
Kinder (28)
Kleenex (26)
L’Oreal (27)
Maxwell House (19)
Minute Maid (16)
Nivea (29)
Pantene (30)
Philadelphia (25)
Pringles (30)
Seven-Up/7-Up (30)
Tylenol (9)
Whiskas (24) Sanitary Protection
Chips & Snacks
Sports Beverages
Facial Tissue
Still Beverages
Chips & Snacks
Carbonated Beverages
OTC Pain Remedies
Cat Food $1 Billion –
$1.5 Billion Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Under $250 million
Note: Brands are alphabetized within each global sales dollar segment
* Denote sub-brands which independently meet the global billion dollar mark but are included in the total for the brand

Martell said, “With coverage in over 100 countries, ACNielsen is unique in its ability to provide a true global perspective on today’s consumers. While other branding studies are just a tally of shipment sales from a company’s annual report, this ACNielsen report is unique in its findings as it measures actual retail sales in 30 countries. “


There were three main criteria that a brand had to meet to be included in the study. First, the cumulative sales for the 12 months ending with the first quarter of 2001 had to be equal to or exceed US$1 billion. Second, the brand had to have a measurable presence in each of the four major geographic regions – Latin America, Asia Pacific, North America and Europe, Middle East and Africa. Finally, sales outside of the home market had to represent at least 5% of the global sales value.

The study includes 30 of the world’s top markets divided into four geographical regions:

Latin America:
 Brazil
 Mexico
 Argentina

Asia Pacific:
 Japan
 China
 Korea, Rep. (South Korea)
 Australia
 Hong Kong, China

North America:
 United States
 Canada
Europe, Middle East and Africa
 Germany
 United Kingdom
 France
 Italy
 Spain
 Russian Federation
 Netherlands
 Switzerland
 Belgium
 Sweden
 Austria
 Turkey
 Denmark
 Poland
 Norway
 Saudi Arabia
 South Africa
 Greece
 Portugal
 Ireland

About ACNielsen

ACNielsen, a VNU company, is the world’s leading marketing information company. Offering services in more than 100 countries, the company provides measurement and analysis of marketplace dynamics and consumer attitudes and behaviour. Clients rely on ACNielsen’s market research, proprietary products, analytical tools and professional service to understand competitive performance, to uncover new opportunities and to raise the profitability of their marketing and sales campaigns.

Editor’s Note: The complete text of Reaching the Billion Dollar Mark – A Review of Today’s Global Brands is available at


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