Mexican beer Corona has replaced Brazilian beer Skol at the top of Kantar and WPP’s Brandz 2018 list of the top 50 Latin American brands. Corona previously held the position of Latin America’s largest brand in 2014.

Corona saw an 8% increase in brand value to $8.29bn, Skol experienced a 1% increase to $8.26bn.

Corona’s success has been linked to increasing its investment in strong ties with consumers and taking into consideration local preferences. It has transformed itself into an iconic Mexican product globally; it benefits from strong loyalty from both Mexicans and Hispanic communities abroad.

Its sponsorship of sports and entertainment events and embrace of social media, as well as innovation of products, has also helped Corona to once again become Latin America’s largest brand.

As a result of these actions, Kantar and WPP has characterised Corona as a healthy brand in terms of brand purpose, innovation, communication, brand experience and love. Only 38% of Latin American brands included on the top 50 list have been categorised as healthy.

Skol has also been praised for its innovative focus, in particular its redesigned logo, and its embrace of online and social media in recent years.

Kantar Insight Division Hispanic LatAm CEO Gabriel Castellanos wrote in the report: “In 2017, Corona dared to go further than it had ever gone before, and ‘removed its borders’. The fundamental idea behind “desfronterízate” (remove your borders) is simple: follow your dreams, since the one thing holding you back is yourself. They pursued every angle of this idea, from encouraging young entrepreneurs to launch their long-nurtured business ideas, to inciting people to seek their fortunes in wild, new cultural settings. Corona encouraged a whole generation to rise up, chase their passion, and seize their moment.”

Two other beer brands ranked in the top ten – Brazil’s Brahma and Colombia’s Aguila. Both brands fell one place from the 2017 ranking. Brahma was 7th with 2% brand value increase to $4.48bn and Aguila was 9th with 13% value growth to $3.92bn.

Although the four beer brands in the top ten list saw a 5% increase in combined brand value, the combined brand value of the two financial institutions in the top ten list grew by 50%.

Beer, food and personal care was the top industry with 37% of total brand value in 2018, which bucks the global average where the category claims 6% of value. However, its influence has declined by 5% compared with 2017.

Brazil and Mexico are the larger producers and consumers of beer, with 43% and 37% of the value share respectively. Beer, food and personal care is also the most significant category in Peru and Colombia with 56% and 59% of value share respectively.

There were 12 brands in the top 50 list, which contribute approximately one third of total brand value. The other beers in the list were, in descending order, Mexican Cervezo Modelo, Brazil’s Antartica, Colombian Poker, Mexico’s Tecate, Brazilian Bohemia, Peruvian Cristal, Mexico’s Sol and Peru’s Pilsen.

The success of these Latin American beer brands is linked to ownership by global brewers Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev and Heineken maintaining the local characteristics of the brands they own. AB InBev owns Corona, Skol, Antartica and Brahma and Heineken owns Aguila.