1. Business

Publix No. 1 on list of Florida's most valuable brands

Publix is Florida's most valuable brand, according to Brand Finance, a brand valuation and strategy consulting firm, which ranked the 500 most powerful and valuable U.S. brands.

Chalk it up to the Publix subs and the weekly BOGOs. Publix was tops among the 17 Florida companies that made the Brand Finance U.S. 500 list. Publix's brand grew by 10 percent this year to increase its value to $6 billion.

Miami-based Burger King was Florida's second most valuable brand with a total value of $4.5 billion. Royal Caribbean International was third at $3.4 billion. Norwegian Cruise Line was the state's fastest-growing brand, with a 52 percent increase to $2.3 billion.

St. Petersburg-based Jabil, a manufacturing design and production company whose customers include Apple, ranked No. 7 in Florida.

California had the most brands on the list with 72, while New York was No. 2 with 68 individual companies. Silicon Valley's tech scene helped California rise to the top this year and contributed $650 billion in total combined value, according to a press release. Florida's combined brand value came in at $39.1 billion.

Apple continued to dominate the list and remains the most valuable brand in the world. California-based Disney is the country's 14th most valuable brand this year at $32 billion.

Every year, Brand Finance evaluates thousands of companies in the U.S. for its annual Brand Finance U.S. 500 ranking. The agency ranks companies by industry and against other brands worldwide.

Lakeland-based Publix recorded $32.4 billion sales in 2015, a 5.9 percent spike from $30.6 billion in 2014. Net earnings for the year were $2 billion, an increase of 13.2 percent from 2014.