Friday, July 17, 2009

Credit Crunch Spotlights Fast Food Brands

The 12th annual Top 500 Superbrands survey, which identifies the UK’s strongest consumer brands by polling the British public, launches today and reaffirms the success of the fast food chains and multiple supermarkets in the economic downturn.

Some of the brands showing the strongest year-on-year improvement in the survey include McDonald’s, which rises 227 places, Burger King, up 189, KFC rising by 164 places and Domino’s Pizza, which moves up the table by 144 places. The highest new entry into this year’s list was Krispy Kreme, further indicating the nation’s demand for relatively low cost treats as the downturn bites.

Recovering from last year’s plummet in the survey are the supermarkets. The ‘Big-Four’ make up for the ground they lost with ASDA leading the way with an impressive increase of 213 places to sit in 226th place. Tesco is the next biggest supermarket riser, gaining 185 places to reach position 116, whilst Waitrose climbs 60 places to fall just three places short of Tesco at 119 – only Sainsbury’s breaks into the top 100, placed at 92. A threat might come in the future from Morrisons and The Co-operative both of whom enter the top 500 for the first time. As well as the supermarkets winning favour, traditional high street retailers are also regaining ground, with brands such as HMV jumping 118 places, B&Q up 168, Boots climbing 117 and Argos storming up the rankings by 230 places - making it the eighth biggest riser overall in the top 500.

With supermarkets increasingly gaining share of the overall fashion market, the specialist ‘Clothing and Footwear’ category has struggled with only two of the 23 brands in this sector, namely DKNY and Paul Smith, improving their positions from last year. That said, fashion retailers Karen Millen (480), Pringle (418), Ben Sherman (327) and Hush Puppies (258) all entered the top 500 for the first time.

In the top 10, Microsoft® regains its number one position, which it lost last year to internet giant, Google. Google itself slips two places to third, whilst four other brands keep their top 10 placing. These include the embattled BBC and British Airways, as well as Mercedes-Benz. New entries to the top 10 in 2009/10 include LEGO® and Cola-Cola, both re-entering after a one year absence. Rolex and Apple also join the top ten alongside this year’s surprise entry Encyclopædia Britannica, which was 29th last year.

Stephen Cheliotis, Chief Executive of The Centre for Brand Analysis, which administered the research on behalf of Superbrands UK, said: “This year’s survey reaffirms some of the downturn’s winners and losers, with the fast food chains and supermarkets doing particularly well. The results, as always, return some surprises with this year’s notable high achiever being Encyclopædia Britannica. Bearing in mind that thousands of brands are initially considered, actually making the top 500 itself is an achievement: the competition amongst brands for consumer attention and share of wallet is intense and growing fiercer.”

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