Starbucks remains the most valuable restaurant brand after its brand value increased by 21% since last year to $39.3bn, according to a new report.
The findings by Brand Finance, a brand valuation and strategy consultancy, showed that Starbucks had continued to expand its business to strengthen its lead in a sector that remains dominated by large US brands.
Over the last year, the brand doubled stores in China, joint ventured with Tata Global Beverages, marked an upcoming partnership with Uber Eats and entered the packaged coffee market in a partnership with Nestlé.
The results of the report also show that McDonald’s has maintained a close second position with a brand value of $31.5bn, up 27% from last year, with KFC following in third place with 67% growth to $13.5bn.
Brand Finance also determines the strength of brands by evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance.
McDonald’s is the only AAA+ brand in the sector, with a brand strength of 90.3/100 versus the Starbuck’s 86.2/100 rating.
The fast-food chain has continued to improve its reputation in the market, abolishing the use of artificial preservatives, colours, and flavourings.
Over the past year, the company has seen its brand value increase by 27% to $31.5bn, with expansions across Australia, Russia and the Nordic region.
The top 13 restaurant brands with values of $2.5bn or more have achieved an average growth of 36% year-on-year, compared to only 1% for the remaining 12 brands.
The most rapidly growing brand in the sector is Taco Bell, with its brand value rising by an impressive 83% to $3.3bn.
Similarly, franchises Pizza Hut and Dunkin’ each grew by 73%, taking their values to $5.4bn and $4.6bn respectively.
Wendy’s also saw significant growth, up 47%, resulting in a brand value of $3.4bn.
Smaller restaurant groups, such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Chipotle and Olive Garden have all seen growth but struggled to substantially develop against a backdrop of larger chains.
However, Costa Coffee, a comparatively smaller group, received the second highest brand strength rating at 87.8/100, despite losing 11% in value.
David Haigh, CEO at Brand Finance, said: “The restaurant sector continues to polarise, creating ever more larger brands that are not only very visible but also very valuable.
“In a highly competitive marketplace middle-sized and small players need to focus on understanding their customers’ tastes and habits to maintain their loyalty and fend off growing threat from supersized chains.”