Beverage and beer companies must combat a wave of disruptive challengers catering to the health-conscious consumer. The top ten brands in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beverages & Beer turn to digital channels like Amazon and Instagram to gain share while legacy brands have moved toward rapid product innovation and acquisitions to revamp their portfolios. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

1. PepsiCo
Digital IQ: 146

PepsiCo takes the prime spot in this year’s digital ranking thanks to its Starbucks brand. The coffee curator boasts high visibility on both branded and unbranded search terms and proves a penchant for social media, where it leads on Facebook. Heaps of content, such as coffee brewing tutorials and ethical sourcing videos, make up its multi-category site while the dedicated Starbucks Rewards section helps fuel store visits.

2. Coca-Cola
Digital IQ: 142

Coca-Cola comes in clutch at number two with the best YouTube presence out of all tracked brands. The company collected over a billion views this year alone, building up to the largest community size in the Index. In email marketing done by its parent company, Coca-Cola bubbles forward as the frequently featured brand. Finally, Coca-Cola makes sure to keep a content-heavy site navigable on mobile devices with best-in-class technology and optimization on the platform.

3. Silk
Digital IQ: 137

Up-to-date Facebook posts featuring Silk’s new packaging help keep this brand ahead while timely recipes keep audiences engaged. Silk succeeds with a smooth and speedy mobile site that pushes the latest campaigns, product lines, and packaging launches on the homepage. The brand also churns out exceptional organic visibility on Amazon, Walmart Grocery, and Instacart and keeps abreast of trends with keyword-aligned packaging.

4. Gatorade
Digital IQ: 136

Gatorade pumps up its YouTube and Twitter performances with celebrity-laden content, such as NFL influencers. The brand earns a strong media presence with engagement on articles mentioning it and buzz on relevant Reddit threads relating to energy, sports drinks and health.

5. Bud Light
Digital IQ: 132

Bud Light successfully navigates the divide between traditional and digital channels by scaling content across media platforms while adapting for platform-specific nuances. For example, the beer brand puts out ten to fifteen-second videos specifically for Facebook which center around its “Dilly Dilly” campaign. Despite its inability to play on more mainstream platforms, Bud Light keeps itself accessible with consistent visibility on couriers Drizly, Saucey and Minibar.

6. Pepsi
Digital IQ: 130

Pepsi crushes its competitors in desktop display ad impressions with over a billion garnered impressions total. Additionally, it pushes ahead with prominent features in the frequent email marketing campaigns sent out by its parent company.

7. Vita Coco
Digital IQ: 125

An aggressive unbranded SEM strategy leads to high visibility across categories for Vita Coco, including water and juice. The brand outshines old guard water brands in the water category, a feat given the competitive nature of the category.

8. Michelob Ultra
Digital IQ: 124

Bids against branded terms on mobile help to protect Michelob Ultra against competitors like Miller Lite. The brand maintains its winning edge by prioritizing mobile ad spend over desktop and targeting health-oriented millennials.

8. Red Bull
Digital IQ: 124

Red Bull whizzes into this year’s ranking with the largest Facebook community and the most engaging video content across platforms. It also achieves success on Instagram’s new IGTV platform thanks to video views that rival YouTube.

10. KeVita
Digital IQ: 123

KeVita makes the cut with great on-site guided selling tools and content investment. It targets health-conscious customers with information about gut bacteria and digestive health. Finally, KeVita keeps highly visible on Amazon through organic and paid search.

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