The multinational company’s total portfolio value is US$42.9 billion, which is more than double of KraftHeinz.
Unilever is well-known for its business ethics and focus on sustainability. Dozens of its brands, such as Marmite, Colmans and PG Tips, have achieved ‘national treasure’ status in the UK and beyond.
At the event, Unilever’s CEO Paul Pohlman rebuffed the US$143 billion deal, which was seen to significantly undervalue the company.
“Unilever has one of the world’s most valuable brand portfolios, more than double the value of KraftHeinz. Quantifying this and bringing it to the fore will be key to defending any future bids or ensuring that shareholders receive fair value,” commented Brand Finance CEO David Haigh, a valuation and strategy consultancy firm.
KraftHeinz’ brand portfolio is worth US$20.2bn. The well-established global food giant launched its bid, which was seen by the UK as a sign of vulnerability of British firms to takeover by foreign counterparts following the Brexit vote.
In general, the last year has proved challenging for food brands. Brands with significant confectionery lines have had the most difficulty as concerns around health eat into revenues. Kraft, Hershey’s, Mars and Nestle have lost 4%, 10%, 14% and 17% of their brand value this year respectively.
This trend is global, with Chinese snack food manufacturers Want Want and Master Kong dropping significantly too. Kellogg’s brand value has dropped 3%. Demand for cereal is faltering as consumers explore a wider variety of breakfast options.
The dairy segment is holding up a little better than the food sector as a whole. This year’s fastest growing food brand is Australia’s largest dairy brand, Devondale. Its brand value is up 35% year on year to US$1.5 billion.
Devondale’s growth is the result of changing consumer tastes and growing demand in South East Asia. The growing taste for dairy bodes well for Yili. It is barely known in the West, but thanks to marketing initiatives such as sponsorship of China’s Olympic team, it scores very highly on brand equity measures such as consideration, familiarity and recommendation in China, its domestic market. Yili is now the world’s second most valuable and the strongest dairy brand.