US Asda parent Wal-Mart has knocked Coca-Cola from the top spot in the global brand league table compiled by Brand Finance.
The soft drinks brand has lost its crown for the first time since the independent survey began in 2007, reflecting a trend among recession-hit shoppers towards favouring supermarkets.
Wal-Mart rose three places in the Brand Finance Global 500 list to take the number one position.
David Haigh, chief executive of independent global consultancy Brand Finance, says the brand is seen as a “consumer champion” in the current economic climate.
He adds that the chain has answered US criticism by being sensitive and running a long-term corporate social responsibility campaign.
“It has always been cast as a villain exploiting brands, but now we’re in a recession, the role of Wal-Mart is to help ordinary people get good quality products at a good price.”
Despite its fall to second place, Coca-Cola remains 19 places higher than its rival Pepsi.
Fast-food restaurant chain McDonald’s, which is banded within the retail sector in this assessment, improved its position in the Global 500. It has risen to 12th place from 22nd in 2008, with a brand value of $20bn (£13.6bn).
This trend was also seen in Millward Brown’s Top 100 Most Powerful Brands list in 2008, where Coke dropped from first spot to fourth. The fizzy drinks brand remained in first position in Interbrand’s 2008 Best Global Brands rankings.