News Items

last updated 30/07/2019

World's top-valued food brand named

last updated 30/07/2019

July 2019 – The world’s biggest food franchise is also one of the ten hottest brands on the planet, according to a recent report

The world's hottest food brand

A recent study of global brand values shows that technology-based companies dominate the business world. However, among the online retailers and digital services, there’s one familiar name among the top ten –and it’s a franchise. With a brand valued at US$130.4 billion, McDonald’s comes in at number 9 in the list – and it stands head and shoulders above other fast food companies.

The top 10 fast food brands ranked by worldwide brand value (US$), according to the 2019 BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, are:

 McDonald's:  $130.4 billion
 Starbucks:   $45.9 billion
 KFC:   $17.2 billion
 Subway:   $17.1 billion
 Domino's  $9.6 billion
 Pizza Hut:  $7.6 billion
 Burger King:  $7.1 billion
 Tim Horton's:   $6.7 billion
 Chipotle:   $6.2 billion
 Taco Bell:   $6.2 billion


The ranking combines market data from Bloomberg with extensive consumer insights from over 3.7 million consumers around the world, covering more than 166,000 different brands in over 50 markets.

The fast food names on this list probably come as no surprise – they are all franchised, at least on a national/regional level – but the fact that McDonald’s comes so far ahead of the others is remarkable. Subway actually has more outlets globally (around 43,000 compared to McDonald’s 37,500 or so) but is worth one-seventh of the Golden Arches.

Another surprise is that Starbucks (30,000 outlets) is valued so highly as a brand, despite the fact that it has struggled against local competition in quality-conscious markets such as New Zealand and Australia. This perhaps reflects the trendy image it promoted in movies and TV series a generation or so ago, which paid dividends in highly brand-conscious markets. Canadian-founded Tim Hortons has also been expanding in Asia, the Middle East and Europe in recent years, although its brand value still comes mainly from North America. There’s more analysis of the food sector here.

It’s worth noting that of the top 10, the first 7 are already in New Zealand and the 10th ­– Taco Bell ­– is due here later this year, with master licensee Restaurant Brands looking to open 60 stores in New Zealand and Australia in the next 5 years.

Number 9 –Chipotle (Mexican grill) – also appeared in a recent wish-list of Nine fast food brands that need to come to NZ from New Zealand Herald writer Aimee Shaw. The readers’ top choices were Popeye (chicken), Shake Shack (shakes, burgers and frozen custard) and Pret A Manger (sandwiches and coffee).

While US food franchises might be popular in New Zealand, taking a New Zealand franchise to the US is rather more difficult. Kiwi food franchises have yet to become established there – BurgerFuel’s promising relationship with Subway founder Fred DeLuca ended with the latter’s untimely death. However, service franchises seem to be having rather more success with Les Mills, Link Business Brokers and Harcourts all having at least a regional presence. More recently, Dream Doors, Refresh Renovations and Zones landscaping have also entered the market – read more in our latest issue about Exporting Kiwi Know-how.

Order a Print Copy
Order a Print Copy