9 min read
Micah Levin - Jun 7, 2021

The Top 5 Most-Discussed F&B Brands in Q4 2020 & Q1 2021

It’s that time of year again! Digimind digs deep into the data from last year’s fourth quarter and this year’s first quarter to bring you a breakdown of some of the most illuminating highlights that we found surrounding the Food & Beverage industry within the North American market.



Top 5 Most-Discussed Brands in Q4 2020

🍫 Mars™ was the most-discussed brand in Q4 2020, a not too surprising fact considering how American’s were locked up in their homes with their pets, quite anxious and ready to placate their appetites - and their social media feeds - with lots and lots of sugary confectionary treats, and probably a lot of pet food as well for good measure!


🥤 PepsiCo™, the second-most discussed F&B brand online during the fourth quarter of 2020, and everyone’s favorite second fiddle to Coca Cola™, managed to take the conversation reigns from Coke and never give them back! Having gone from second, then to first for Q1 2021, it must be something in the water, err… umm, the soda, since the company saw a huge upsurge in both retail and fast food profit margins during the height of COVID-19.


🍺 Molson Coors™, the alcohol and spirits corporation, came in third place for the most-discussed F&B brands during Q4 2020. No surprise here really, with conglomerate ownership of such flagship drinking brands like Miller Lite™ and Coors™, if anyone on the web even started the conversation about their growing obsession of both mild and extreme drinking behavior, you could bet it would involves a beer or spirit owned by MC.


🐮 Saputo™, as the fourth-most discussed F&B brand from the fourth quarter of 2020, managed to keep dairy in the digital conversations. As owners of the main ingredient for foodie favorites like cheese and cream products, it’s not such a big surprise to find that people really took a liking - or at the very least, an interest - in what Saputo™ had to bring to the table, literally.


🍪 Mondelez International™, a snack titan among munchers of chips and condiments like Kraft™ and Heinz™, claims the firth-most discussed brand online in Q4 2020, and most likely due to a large corporate deal being closed all the way back in April of 2020 for a majority interest in the company Perfect Snacks™, makers of Perfect Bar™.



Digimind Top 23 Most-Discussed F&B Brands Online, Q4 2020

Some Takeaways From a Crazy Quarter

  • Mars™ was not only the most mentioned brand in Q4 2020, but it was also the most-discussed F&B brand for all of that quarter before jumping back and forth in the first and second place spots in the following quarter with PepsiCo™.
  • And speaking of PepsiCo™, the soft drink conglomerate started Q4 2020 in the fifth place spot for most-discussed brand and rose so quickly most likely due to the consumer obsession with sugary snacks and refined sugar-based soft drinks that gave it an edge amongst the netizens online in comparison to a competitor like Coca Cola™.
  • Coca Cola™, though larger in earning and corporate size than PepsiCo™, wasn’t as nearly popular on social media as the previously mentioned adversary, starting Q4 2020 at third-most discussed brand, and then dipping down in the mentions for most of the year before starting right back to where it was in third-placed ranking in Q1 2021.
  • A quite revealing aspect of the behaviors of many consumers at the onset of the pandemic, happened to revolve around Molson Coors™, the alcohol and spirits corporation. Starting Q4 2020 in fourth place for most-discussed F&B brand, before jumping wildly throughout that quarter and into the following quarter and year, taking the second place ranking for online conversations throughout the fall season - a not too surprising fact considering that the holidays are a big spending period for alcohol and spirits.
  • PepsiCo™, Colson Moors™, Saputo™, and Mondelez, all traded the fifth-most discussed brand ranking for the first part of Q4 2020, showing how preferences and sentiments swung wildly, both financially and digitally for people trying to get a handle on all the craziness transpiring during the last quarter of 2020.


All-in-all, the food and beverage industry saw strong growth (in both sales and online presence) for a few key commodities markets, such as comfort foods/snack foods, alcoholic beverages, soda, and cereals. Though it’s easy to forget - as the end of last year could very well be perceived as yesterday with the COVID-19 pandemic still happening - stay-at-home living behaviors were still at a high peak, with everyone simply trying to sate both their appetites and nerves as a tense political fight was brewing in November, and cases were still skyrocketing in many parts of the country. Which leads us into this year and the last quarter…

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Top 5 Most Discussed F&B Brands in Q1 2021

🥤 People were clearly thirsty after so much talk over COVID-19, with PepsiCo™ being the most-discussed brand in the first quarter of 2021!


🔴 Coca Cola™, as the second-most discussed brand during the first quarter of 2021, must’ve also peaked with people as a common staple of many diets in North America, as well as a comforting balm for what was truly a stressful time for everyone.


🍫 Mars™, managing to also sweeten the deal as the third-most discussed brands in the first quarter of 2021, seemed to have kept itself on everyone’s minds as the third-most discussed food brand from last year’s fourth quarter. As snacking and sweet tooth-indulging had become a hallmark of this pandemic, so too had Mars™ product lineup of chocolate bars and candies stayed relevant on social media.


🍿 Mondelez™ took the fourth-most discussed spot on this list for Q1 2021, a pretty easy given considering their main line of products involves confectionaries, snacks, and beverages. Sugar, salt, and everything nice.


🥛 Got milk? Well in Q1 2021, many many people did, especially on the mind, as well as other dairy-based products, clearly based on the fact that Saputo™, known for its dairy product lineup was the fifth-most discussed brand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digimind Top 10 Most-Discussed F&B Brands Online, Q1 2021

More Takeaways From The Last Quarter

  • You’d be forgiven for thinking that American’s are sugar-obsessed, dog food-loving shut-ins considering the fact that Q1 2021 started and practically ended with Mars™ domination, only losing out slightly in online conversation rankings to PepsiCo™ when swapping first and second place at the end of our historical search query.
  • PepsiCo™ must’ve heard its ears burning (or its bubbles fizzing) as it started the last quarter strong in the second-most discussed F&B brand ranking and then - as mentioned - rose to the top like so many belches do after drinking a 12-liter bottle of soda.
  • Moving from the holidays (like Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years) of the end of Q4 2020, and into the last quarter of 2021, Molson Coors fell from relevancy for many consumers, having dropped from the third-most discussed spot at the beginning of 2021 to sixth place. Though nothing to blow your nose at, considering how just being in the top 10 most-discussed brands is a feat in and of itself, it’s still a very noticeable fall from grace for the alcohol and spirits conglomerate.
  • If milk is good for growth, then someone should’ve told dairy brand, Saputo™, as they managed to start Q1 2021 as the fourth most-discussed F&B brand before wavering back and forth and becoming the fifth-most discussed brand at the end.
  • Coca Cola™ really managed to sweeten itself to the netizens of social media towards the end of the last quarter, bubbling up from the fifth-most discussed brand at the beginning of 2021 to third-place ranking for online discussions by the end Q1 2021!

More Than Eating & Drinking People Love To Talk About What They’re Eating & Drinking!

The Food and Beverage industry has been both given a gift and a curse during this pandemic… perhaps even these two things are but one and the same. With COVID-19 opening the eyes of large numbers of consumers to the failings of certain supply chains of our most beloved processed food companies, while at the same time pushing people to focus more and more on what we eat, F&B brands are now highly scrutinized and simultaneously revered for their dependability when we need them the most. Transparency for beef, pork, and poultry has made us more and more health-conscious during the pandemic, and the virus has made us more hyper-aware about what goes in our bodies and our overall health, and yet when some fried shrimp tails (and possibly even rat poops) wind up in somebody's bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch™, it doesn’t turn all of social media against General Mills™ nor destroy their bottom line. For better or worse, the world of food brands will always stick with us, and we’ll be covering all the delicious tidbits in our upcoming Industry Report regarding the Food & Beverage industry during the last two quarters of this ongoing (yes, it’s still going on!) pandemic. Stay tuned folks!


Header image sourced from www.pexels.com

Digimind Demo Food Delivery Blog jun 2020

Written by Micah Levin

With a background in creative writing, advertising, and psychology, Micah is a copywriter in name and a Digiminder at heart. When he's not developing content for agencies, you can find him crafting novels, cooking and running around in Brooklyn, NY.