Brazilian beer Skol is the most valuable brand in Latin America for the second year running according to the fifth annual BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable Latin American Brands.

Latin America saw major political changes and high inflation that hit consumers’ budgets and confidence in 2016, resulting in a 22% decrease in the total value of the region’s strongest brands. However, the value of the Top 10 declined by just 14%, indicating that investment in marketing and building a strong brand can provide protection in tough times.

Beer dominates the Top 10, with five brands (four owned by AB InBev) holding a combined value of USD$26 billion; 25% of the ranking’s total value. Skol retains its position as Latin America’s most valuable brand, having demonstrated clear purpose to its audience with participation at events such as music festivals, and innovation in communications, packaging and products. The category declined 2% overall, but the impact was softened by beer brands in Mexico, where the younger generation has expanded and access to credit is growing. The fastest risers in this year’s Top 50 were Mexican beer brands Tecate (no.26) and Sol (no.33), which both grew 31%.

“Tough times call for brands to ask themselves tough questions and make difficult decisions on their marketing investments and business actions. Formulating an effective strategy that balances quality, differentiation, relevance and cost requires a granular understanding about how the brand is perceived and what will resonate with the consumer,” commented Gabriel Castellanos, CEO, Hispanic LatAm, Kantar.