Spain Top Brands 2023 - Portrait of Spain based on its brands and consumption
In today’s society, few things define us more than the brands we consume: whether they are products, services or, increasingly, in the form of experiences. Especially in the younger generations, identities are built in relation to reference brands and, knowing this, companies compete not only in sales but also in recognition, built through the association of their brands with a series of values. .
The following 16 maps help us to outline a portrait of Spain based on its favorite brands and other more objective data, with clear differences between regions. In many cases, the winning brand by category varies depending on the territory and does so taking into account issues of its own identity and tradition. It should also be noted that the brands that lead in sales are not always the ones that win in preference; as in the case of supermarkets, being a leader in establishments it not means being one in preference. Perhaps our aspirations do not always coincide with reality.
1. Map of favorite utility vehicle brands in Spain 2023(1)
We are launching a preferences map this year with the favorite utility vehicle brands. The Japanese brand Toyota is the clear favorite nationwide and dominates in Madrid, Andalusia, and the Valencian Community. However, in the northern part of the country, the second contender, Volkswagen, takes the lead. It is worth noting the uniqueness of the Balearic Islands and their affinity for the Italian brand Fiat.
2. Map of favourite beer brands in Spain 2023(1)
The battle continues. Beer enthusiasts remain faithful to their favorite brand, and the map remains unchanged. But behind the scenes, the battle rages on. Estrella Galicia, the only brand that manages to clearly transcend borders, strengthens its dominance with 34.72% of the votes, continuing to double its closest competitor, Mahou.
On the other hand, the Madrid-based brand holds its ground, having also increased its share of preference to 15.44% of the votes. However, it is Heineken, the brand that doesn’t dominate any specific territory, that maintains its third position in the national ranking. It is also the brand within the top 3 that experiences the highest increase in preference, reaching 13.12%. Could it be the brand for the undecided?
3. Map of favorite milk brands in Spain 2023(1)
Milk brands continue to adapt by offering differentiated products. Furthermore, they are leading the way in promoting sustainable farming practices. This demonstrates their commitment to quality and social responsibility, even in a competitive and challenging market.
Within this context, the preferences of Spanish consumers are giving rise to an interesting competition among brands. Compared to the previous year, we can see that Central Lechera Asturiana has managed to position itself as the preferred brand in Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha, generating a significant change in the regional and national landscape.
In this intense battle, Central Lechera Asturiana and the renowned Mercadona brand, Hacendado, are competing for the top spot. Although the Asturian brand has gained ground by conquering two territories, Hacendado still maintains its position as the leading brand nationwide with 24.02% of the votes. But be careful, because Central Lechera Asturiana manages to narrow the gap in the national ranking, getting closer to Hacendado by less than one percentage point.
4. Map of car brands by sales in Spain 2023(2)
We have seen the preferences map, now let’s take a look at the sales reality. The uncertainty in the energy transition is compounded by rising prices and the loss of purchasing power resulting from the macroeconomic environment. This translates into a reduction in new car registrations and a more active market for used vehicles.
Volkswagen is the best-selling car brand, surpassing Toyota and Peugeot. In other words, the podium of preferences is reversed in the first and second positions. The spanish-born brand SEAT drops out of the top-selling cars category, a position it had held for the past 4 years, as it divides its efforts with the Cupra brand.
5. Map of motorcycle brands by sales in Spain 2023(3)
In the motorcycle ranking, as if it were a Grand Prix, the brands Yamaha and Honda extend their battle to the market. The brand of spanish riders like Marc Marquez leads the ranking, followed by Yamaha and Piaggio.
In contrast to vehicle registrations, an increase in motorcycle registrations has been observed compared to last year. This increase is due to the option that motorcycles represent in terms of cost, especially during inflationary periods, compared to owning a car.
Furthermore, factors such as rising temperatures and the growing presence of motorcycles in urban environments, especially electric ones, have been decisive in this increase. These electric motorcycles contribute to saving space in cities and are key to achieving the goal of zero emissions in major urban areas.
6.Map of the favorite fast food brands in Spain 2023(1)
The historic rivalry between McDonald’s and Burger King has earned the name “the hamburger war” within the industry. McDonald’s has managed to maintain its dominance in the global fast food market, driven by its brand recognition and widespread presence worldwide.
However, Burger King has gained renown for its clever and bold approach in its advertising campaigns. Additionally, Spain is among its key markets outside the United States. This is reflected in the preferences map, where Burger King has gained the territories of Cantabria and La Rioja compared to the previous year, maintaining its leadership with 27.13% of the votes.
On the other hand, McDonald’s has closed the gap by one percentage point and is closely trailing in second place with 23.66% of the votes. Moreover, it has recently announced plans to invest 250 million euros in Spain! Therefore, the “hamburger war” is far from over.
7.Map of spanish favorite brands in Spain 2023(1)
When it comes to spanish brands, Zara remains the champion for all of us with 30.69% of the votes. The Galician textile company continues to adapt to market changes, competing with new foreign players like Shein and expanding with new business models such as its second-hand service, which will soon be launched in Spain.
Following closely are Real Madrid and Mercadona with 22.51% and 16.63% of the votes, respectively. In the overall count, they both lose half a percentage point compared to the category leader, and Real Madrid swaps Melilla for La Rioja with Zara compared to the previous year.
8. Map of favorite high end car brands in Spain 2023(1)
Do you like to drive? High-end cars have always been associated with an emotional factor and brand positioning. The map is new in this edition, and we can already see that Mercedes is the best-positioned brand when it comes to premium vehicles, both nationally with 24.59% of the votes and locally, conquering 13 out of 19 territories.
Next comes Audi, which, despite only conquering 2 territories, secures the second position nationally with 17.32% of the votes. On the other hand, BMW is preferred in twice as many territories, but in the rest of Spain, it fares worse compared to Audi, placing it in third position in the national ranking with 13.89% of the votes.
9.Map of favorite fashion brands in Spain 2023(1)
As it could not be otherwise, Zara is once again present and remains the preferred fashion brand for Spaniards nationwide with 26.21% of the votes.
However, be careful because the competition never ends. The American brand Levi’s repeats once again as the second preferred fashion brand, winning the territories of Cantabria and Extremadura, and reducing its percentage by one point compared to the previous year with 21.25% of the votes.
Lastly, H&M loses nearly two percentage points compared to the other brands on the podium and falls slightly behind in the competition.
10. Map of favourite soluble cocoa in Spain 2023 (1)
One of the great battles of Spanish gastronomy, alongside the debate of whether to include onions in tortilla de patatas (potato omelette) or not, is ColaCao or Nesquik. There is no room for a third option here. The majority of us have grown up with these brands that have been reference choices for breakfast, both for children and adults, for over 50 years.
When it comes to territorial factor, there is no doubt. The spanish brand steadily advances with 61.62% of the votes. It gains nearly three percentage points compared to its competitor and conquers, by slightly difference, the three territories that belonged to Nesquik last year. This banishes the swiss brand from the map, despite maintaining a respectable 36.28% of the votes.
11. Map of favourite health insurance brands in Spain 2023 (1)
Mapfre is in luck. The red emblem of health insurance has gained preference in 4 more territories compared to last year (Extremadura, Basque Country, Valencian Community, and Balearic Islands) and maintains its leadership with 28.36% of the votes.
Adeslas, entering the podium this year in second place with 14.63%, loses one territory, while Sanitas, dropping to the third position with 14.36%, loses two territories and gains one, strengthening its presence in the capital and conquering Murcia. Generali, who held the territory of Murcia last year, falls out of the top three.
12. Map of favourite telecommunication brands in Spain 2023 (1)
If there is one place where it is difficult to establish a brand positioning while generating a good customer experience, it is the mobile operator market.
In previous years, we have seen how Movistar, despite being a spanish brand, did not resonate with consumers in terms of preference. However, little by little, we see how the blue operator is gaining ground and now conquers 11 territories in terms of preference. Nevertheless, it still has a long way to go as Vodafone remains at the top of the podium with 22.09% of the votes.
It is worth noting that Orange, being the operator with the highest advertising investment according to Infoadex in the last 4 years, continues to strive for the top positions.
13. Map of favourite supermarket brands in Spain 2023 (1)
As with ZARA in the textile industry, in supermarkets, the Mercadona logo reigns in almost all territories of Spain. The Basque brand Eroski remains strong in its place of origin despite the expansion of the Valencian brand. Mercadona has gained a legion of followers, despite not being the leader in coverage in most communities (as seen below). This is precisely reflected in the national top 3 with Mercadona (35.54% of the votes) surpassing its followers, Lidl (19.53%) and Carrefour (14.07%), by a wide margin.
14. Map of supermarket brands in Spain by number of establishments 2023 (4)
The food sector was one of the few industries that benefited during the pandemic, as evidenced by its increasing revenue figures. However, supply chain issues and rising costs caused by inflation threaten to erode the profit margins of companies in this sector.
It’s not good news for DIA, which is facing financial problems and has been reducing the number of its stores in recent years. The latest proof of this is the sale of 235 supermarkets to Alcampo. Nevertheless, DIA remains the leading chain in terms of the number of establishments nationwide (13.36% of the total), occupying the central and some northern areas of Spain.
15. Map of banking brands in Spain by number of establishments 2023 (5)
The landscape is changing for the major Spanish banks. The increase in interest rates by the European Central Bank and the rise of Madrid as the fourth financial hub in Europe (from ninth place) favor the growth of the market. However, Spanish banks have not stopped closing branches. In 2022 alone, they closed more than 2,400 branches. The concentration towards the major players is becoming increasingly evident.
CaixaBank remains the leader in branches, but despite the closure of offices after the merger with Bankia, its presence increases from 22.50% to 26.27% of the total branches. Banco Santander’s representation increases from 17.60% to 25.24% of the total, and in third place is BBVA, which goes from 8.37% to 12.04% of the national network.
16. Map of petrol brands in Spain by number of gas stations 2023 (6)
In 2022, the war in Ukraine has turned the tables on energy plans. Fossil fuels regain importance after the war in Ukraine due to the struggle of major powers to control energy sources, while the energy transition accelerates in response to Europe need to reduce dependence on third parties in energy matters.
In this context, the map of service stations in Spain continues to evolve despite the apparent lack of signs of change. Only the territory of Ceuta seems to change with the entry of a new local player, On365Energy.
In the top 3, Repsol maintains its leadership, representing 15.73% of the total number of service stations, followed by Cepsa with 9.72%, and BP with 4.64%. The same map as the previous year, but it is worth noting that the three oil companies lose weight in the national landscape, going from representing 34.26% to 30.09%. Do the major players dilute themselves by focusing on green energies and leave room for small local players? Only future studies will tell.