Consumer research company Kantar Worldpanel published a list of the world’s 20 most popular brands in 2017. Here are the top ten brands from that list.
Knorr is a German-based company that’s owned by Unilever. It specializes in seasonings and spices that turn “local dishes into appealing new products.” The company’s operations center around its original factory in Heilbronn, Germany. It’s there where international teams of chefs come together to bring new tastes to the 320 million people who enjoy Knorr products daily.
The company started out in 1957 selling bouillon and soups in 8 countries. By 2000, Knorr was being sold in almost 90 countries, and its list of products grew to include sauces, gravies, recipe mixes, stocks (chicken, beef, and vegetable), and meal starters.
Sunsilk, which is also owned by Unilever, is a brand of hair care products–namely shampoo–for women. It was launched in 1954 in the UK and was the first major shampoo to contain olive oil. Sunsilk currently has nine product lines, including anti-dandruff, smoothing, repair, straightening, and shine-enhancing shampoos.
Despite being popular overseas, Sunsilk flopped in the States–even after Unliever reintroduced it in a 2008 campaign (a commercial that aired during Super Bowl XLII) aimed at women in their 20s. As a result, Sunsilk shampoos are no longer sold in U.S. stores.
Indomie is a brand of instant noodles produced in Indonesia. Launched in 1982, Indomie is sold in many countries, including England, Australia, the United States and the Middle East, and is the number one selling brand of instant noodles in New Zealand.
Indomie noodles come in flavors like barbecue, hot & spicy, chicken and spicy beef, and are known for having an authentic Indonesian taste. One of the most popular flavors is Mi Goreng Fried Noodles. It comes with one of five seasonings that include fried onion, sweet soy, and chili sauce.
Nescafé is one of the most popular coffee brands in the world. It originated in Brazil in the 1930s. The instant version was launched in Switzerland in 1938. It soon spread to France, the UK, and the U.S. And, in 1965 Nescafé began offering a freeze-dried soluble version.
-“Nescafé” is a blend of the words Nestlé–the company that makes this coffee–and café, the French word for coffee.
-Instant coffee was “as important [to World War I soldiers] as beef and bread,” a high-ranking Army official said after the war, according to NPR. It “restored courage and strength” and “kept up the morale.”
Pepsi was invented by a pharmacist in the 1800s as a cure for peptic ulcers. The pharmacist, Caleb Bradham, was hoping Pepsi would be as successful as another soft drink (also on this list) on the market at that time. Much to Bradham’s pleasure, the drink became very popular. Though the company eventually fell on hard times, it was able to bounce back.
In the early 21st century, Pepsi began expanding its operations in other countries, particularly in Russia. It bought a controlling interest in Russia’s largest juice manufacturer and acquired Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods, a dairy company in Russia. As a result, PepsiCo became the largest food and beverage company in Russia.
America’s favorite potato chip has been around for a long time–since 1932, to be exact. It was during the Great Depression that Herman W. Lay founded the Lay’s potato chip company. He sold the chips across the country from the back of his car. Now, they’re sold across the globe via its parent company, PepsiCo.
-Lay’s potato chips come in more than a dozen different flavors in the U.S. alone. They range from Classic to BBQ to Sour Cream & Onion to Salt & Vinegar and everything in between. They have some interesting flavors in other countries, too, including lasagna in Argentina, feta cheese in Greece, seafood and mayo in Thailand, and vegemite in Australia.
-Lay’s potato chips are marketed under different names in other countries. For example, they’re known as “Walkers” in the UK. In Mexico, they’re known as “Sabritas.” And, in Egypt they’re called “Chipsy.”
Lifebuoy is a brand of soap marketed by Unilever. It was introduced in Victorian England by William Lever, who was on a quest to stop the spread of cholera. It quickly became one of the most popular soaps in the United States–prior to the invention of perfumed soaps, that is.
According to the company’s website, Lifebuoy soaps kill 99.9 percent of germs. They even have an antibacterial hand wash that changes colors to let your know when your hands are clean. Other Lifebuoy products include bar soaps, body washes, and sanitizers.
You may or may not be familiar with this brand, so here’s a bit of history on it. The Maggi company got its start in Switzerland in 1886 when Julius Maggi created nutrient-rich seasonings to bring added flavor to meals. Today, it’s owned by Nestlé and makes flavor enhancers like bouillons, soups, seasonings and sauces. They also sell masala noodles.
FUN FACT: As more and more women began working outside the home, the Swiss government asked Maggi to create a product that would be both nutritious and simple to make. He came up with an instant bean soup and two instant pea soups.
Coming in at number two, the Colgate brand is purchased by more than half the households in the world! While it’s most know for selling oral hygiene products, Colgate (now called Colgate-Palmolive) also sells soaps, deodorants, pet food, household cleaners, and more.
-Colgate & Company, as it was called in the 1890s, sold the first toothpaste in a tube. It was called Colgate’s Ribbon Dental Cream.
-Colgate didn’t start adding fluoride–a known cavity fighter and enamel protector–to its toothpaste until 1968.
-In 1890, Madison University in Hamilton, N.Y., changed its name to Colgate University in honor of the Colgate family, who were longtime financial supporters of the institution.
Known mainly for its sweetened carbonated beverage in a red can (or bottle if you prefer), the Coca-Cola Company also produces and sells over 2,800 products (including citrus beverages and other soft drinks) in more than 200 countries. It’s the largest beverage manufacturer and distributor in the world.
DID YOU KNOW?
Just like Pepsi, the Coca-Cola soft drink was also invented by a pharmacist. It was supposed to be a health tonic. And, get this: It contained caffeine-rich extracts from the kola nut and COCAINE from the coca leaf! Thankfully, the cocaine was removed from the formula in the early 1900s.
So, those were the most popular brands in 2017. Do you have any favorite brands? Please share them with us below. Thanks for reading!