When people mention Belgium, what is the cliché that recurs almost systematically when talking about fine food? No, it isn’t the famous mussels ‘n chips, or chocolate. It’s the other thing. Yes, that one. Beer.
Belgium is known world-wide for its beer. Our brands are exported to the four corners of the world, and exports account for the majority of sales for many of those brands.
But what do the Belgians think? What is their favourite brand? Not simply in terms of taste, but in terms of the brand as a whole? What brand do the Belgians feel closest to?
7 brands among the 10 brands included in the “Alcoholic Beverages” category are beer brands. Unsurprisingly, Jupiler, which is the 5th brand in the general ranking, is the country’s leading beer brand. The next brands featured in the rankings are Leffe, Duvel, Maes and Hoegaarden, and Chimay and Grimbergen lower down the rankings (outside the general Top 300).
Jupiler stands out more from a rational standpoint (market share and price premium) than from an emotional standpoint (relationship and experience), even though the brand is the market leader in both cases.
Generally speaking, the ranking order of the brands tends to remain the same regardless of the aspect we look at. The only two brands where we see a difference are Chimay and Maes. The first is a more emotional brand, while the second is more rational. Maes is the 4th-ranked brand from a rational standpoint, but ranks last from an emotional standpoint. Meanwhile Chimay ranks last (on a par with Grimbergen) from a rational standpoint, but ranks 5th from an emotional standpoint, just behind Hoegaarden.
If we focus on emotions, and more specifically on relationships, we observe that 6 people out of 10 say that they have a strong relationship with Jupiler, while only just over one person out of three shares these feelings where Leffe and Duvel are concerned. Chimay is the brand that obtained the lowest score, with only one person in four stating that they feel close to the Trappist brand. Furthermore, Chimay is the brand with which the Belgians feel the least familiar (weak relationship).
Hoegaarden and Maes obtain the highest scores in terms of risky relationships. Almost one person out of six states that they have a conflictual relationship, or a past friendship with both of these brands, or even consider them as their enemies.
Lastly, Chimay once again stands out from the other brands in terms of the experience provided to consumers, by ranking fourth highest behind the usual leading trio, namely Jupiler, Leffe and Duvel.
This means that Jupiler is therefore Belgium’s favourite beer brand by far. It has to be said that the brand is very visible, not only due to its products, but also from a cultural and sports sponsorship standpoint. Maes is the second-ranked pilsner, while the other beers ranked in the top 10 closely reflect the trend in the market, which is increasingly turning towards craft beers.