Biggest brands: Top 10 brands by category 2006

New product development and delivering on consumer needs helped the majority of grocery categories rise in value.

Dairy: £7.6bn (+5%)

The public obsession with health and indulgence helped boost sales in the dairy market by nearly 5% to over £7.5bn last year. The yoghurt sector experienced the greatest growth, at 5.5%, thanks to strong performances by Muller, Yoplait and Danone, which all appear in the top 50 overall grocery brands.

Market leader Muller saw sales rise 6%, thanks to the success of luxury brand Amore and healthy variants such as Healthy Balance Corners and Muller Vitality Yoghurt and Yoghurt Drinks.

Meanwhile, a 26% rise in Danone's sales was fuelled by probiotic Actimel Yoghurt Drink and Activia Yoghurt. Sales of such functional dairy products rose by 20% to £540m, as consumers switched from low-fat, low-sugar or diet variants. Flora's 17% value rise was driven by the launch of its pro.activ yoghurt drink, which attracted nearly 1m buyers in its first six months, and Flora Buttery with Omega 3.

Own-label products' share of the dairy sector grew five points to 53%, with organic own-label posting the biggest rise, of nearly 54%. Cheese is almost exclusively own-label, though Cathedral City has built brand equity by reducing promotions and introducing the 'See it, want it' advertising campaign.

Top 10 Dairy Brands 2006
RankBrandSales(£m)% change
1Muller  385-390365-3706
2Danone  235-240185-19026
3Flora  215-220185-19017
4Lurpak  135-140125-1309
5Yoplait  120-125105-11014
6Cathedral City  100-10585-9017
7Anchor  90-9590-95-2
8Dairylea  90-9590-95-4
9Cravendale  80-8575-806
10McLelland  70-7565-706


Chilled convenience: £6.6bn (+4%)

The chilled convenience market has grown 4% to more than £6bn, with the growth of own-label products outstripping that of brand-led offerings. The former now account for 75% of the market, helped by the success of ranges such as Tesco Finest and Sainsbury's Taste the Difference.

For the first time, there has been a fall in the number of shoppers in the category. This drop, combined with TNS Worldpanel Usage data indicating that people are spending an average of 20 seconds longer preparing an evening meal, reflects a trend of consumers cooking their own meals rather than relying on pre-packed offerings.

Bernard Matthews dominates the market with sales of more than £190m - though the brand's value has slipped 5% in the face of pressure from own-labels, particularly in the heavily price-promoted sector of sliced, cooked meats. The company has augmented its TV advertising with sponsorship of daytime show Mums on Strike.

The gravy, soup, sandwich filler, olive, pasta and cooking sauce categories all posted double-digit growth last year, yet still have great potential, since they are purchased by only one-third of households. Covent Garden, which continues to advertise in specialist food magazines, performed particularly strongly, largely on the back of its soups and sauces.

Overall, the branded chilled convenience market suffers from a lack of innovation and a loss of premium appeal due to regular promotions. Own-label products are likely to continue to dominate.

Top 10 Chilled Convenience Brands 2006
RankBrandSales(£m)% change
1B'nard Matthews  190-195200-205-5
2Pork Farm  55-6045-5014
3Ginsters  50-5545-5013
4Covent Garden  30-3525-3020
5Pepperami  25-3025-303
6Pizza Express  15-2010 1570
7Cauldron Foods  15-2015-20-9
8Speedy Snacks  10 155 1046
9Saxby's  5 1010 15-5
10Bells pastry products  5 105 1011


Household/cleaning: £4.5bn (+1%)

Sales of household and cleaning products have risen 1% to about £4.5bn, with own-label accounting for 32% of the category. Laundry sales are suffering from a shift toward less expensive brands, while standard household cleaning products are being sold in larger and cheaper packs. New product development is still strong, but launches often fail to generate sufficient funds to counter the overall downward pressure on prices.

Persil remains the bestselling detergent, bought by more than one-third of shoppers, but its sales fell 9% despite an emphasis on new products such as gel layer tablets with stain remover.

A relaunch in October did nothing to arrest the decline of Ariel, whose sales dropped 12%. Consumers were unimpressed by the revamp, which was developed by Landor and backed by a multimillion-pound campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi.

Fairy detergent enjoyed a strong year, helped by its support of premature-babies charity Bliss and the success of its new fabric conditioner for sensitive skins. But Bold was the fastest-growing laundry detergent, driven by a commitment to NPD.

Top 10 Household Cleaning Brands 2006
RankBrandSales(£m)% change
1Persil  200-205215-220-9
2Fairy  185-190165-17010
3Ariel  140-145160-165-12
4Bold  110-11595-10012
5Comfort  100-105110-115-9
6Finish  100-10590-957
7Lenor  75-8075-80-1
8Daz  65-7060-656
9Flash  55-6055-601
10Surf  50-5560-65-12


Ambient bakery: £3.7bn (+6%)

A return to traditional values, coupled with an increasing focus on the healthiness of products, has helped ambient bakery become one of the fastest-growing grocery categories, with value sales rising 6% to £3.7bn. The increase was driven by bread, which grew by 9%, an impressive performance for a product already bought by most UK households.

Brown and seeded alternatives, along with 'healthier white breads' such as Hovis Best of Both and Warburtons All in One, have seen the strongest growth, as consumers have become happier to pay for the perceived benefits of health.

Warburtons' 17% rise in sales to almost £355m has seen it overtake Hovis as the leading bread brand. The company benefits from high levels of customer loyalty, meaning it does not have to run as many promotional offers as Hovis and Kingsmill.

Hovis, which was bought by almost three-quarters of the population in the year, grew sales by 13% on the back of major launches, including Invisible Crust, and the relaunch of its seeded range.

Provenance and authenticity are important in the bread market. Warburton plays on its family values, while in its relaunch last month to coincide with its 120th anniversary, Hovis reminded consumers of its heritage with more traditional packaging and the reintroduction of its 'boy on a bike' TV ads.

Mr Kipling suffered the biggest fall, after an upmarket repositioning alienated its core consumers.

Top 10 Ambient Bakery 2006
RankBrandSales(£m)% change
1Warburtons  350-355300-30517
2Hovis  280-285245-25013
3Kingsmill  230-235225-2302
4Mr Kipling  100-105105-110-5
5McVitie's  50-5545-509
6Cadbury's Cakes  45-5045-50-3
7Cuisine De France  30-3530-354
8Lyons Bakeries  20-2520-2520
9Hovis Granary  20-2515-2026
10Soreen  15-2015-207


Soft drinks: £2.7bn (+3%)

Sales in the soft-drinks market, which has grown 3% to £2.7bn, have been characterised by a shift from carbonated to non-carbonated variants. The latter's share of the market rose from 60% in 2005 to 63%. Own-label accounts for 33% of the market, although such sales fell 1% over the 52 weeks.

Water sales outperformed the market, but because own-label accounts for 55% of sales, no brand has yet crept into the top 10.

Diet Coke continues to lead the table, with sales up 6%, while Coke reversed its previous decline with a 5% increase. Both brands have been boosted by limited-edition variants, such as Coca-Cola with Lime. Lemonades and flavoured carbonated soft drinks have not fared so well, despite replacing diet variants with zero-sugar alternatives.

While cola has a distinctive taste, consumers seeking health benefits are switching from flavoured carbonated drinks to squash and fruit juices. Tropicana, which grew 20% to nearly £105m, has been one of the main beneficiaries.

Top 10 Soft Drink Brands 2006
RankBrandSales(£m)% change
1Diet Coke  230-235215-2206
2Robinsons  185-190180-1851
3Coke  170-175160-1655
4Pepsi (reg & diet)  150-155140-1456
5Tropicana  100-10580-8520
6Ribena  70-7565-705
7Schweppes  65-7055-6010
8Fanta  55-6060-65-5
9Lucozade  50-5540-4514
10Britvic  45-5025-3080


Frozen prepared foods: £2.5bn (-5%)

Frozen prepared foods was one of just two sectors to decline in value over the year, falling 5% to just over £2.5bn. Own-label, which accounts for 43% of the market, performed no better than brands. The figures reflect consumers' increasing propensity to switch to chilled alternatives, which they perceive as healthier. But frozen foods also suffer from retailers' tendency to support more profitable chilled lines.

Birds Eye leads the market, with sales approaching £475m, despite a 3% decline. It has attempted to reverse the trend with a TV campaign highlighting the freshness and health benefits of frozen food. While its sales of frozen fish have grown on the back of the success of the Simply Fish and microwaveable Steam Fresh ranges, it hasn't stopped owner Unilever from trying to offload the brand.

The greatest growth in the sector came from pizza brands Goodfella's and Chicago Town, while fish specialist Young's also performed well, and Aunt Bessie's fuelled its growth with strong NPD.

However, Weight Watchers suffered a big fall in sales, in common with diet ranges across all sectors, reflecting consumers' mounting focus on healthy eating rather than dieting.

Top 10 Frozen Food Brands 2006
RankBrandSales(£m)% change
1Birds Eye  470-475485-490-3
2McCain  200-205215-220-8
3Young's  160-165145-15011
4Aunt Bessie's  110-115100-10510
5Goodfella's  100-10575-8029
6Chicago Town  95-10075-8024
7Weight Watchers  65-7075-80-16
8Quorn  30-3530-356
9Dr Oetker  30-3530-35-1
10Findus  25-3035-40-25


Bathroom toiletries: £2.3bn (+3%)

Toiletries sales have risen 3% to £2.3bn, fuelled by a strong performance by the skincare category, which grew 4.6% to £900m.

One of the key drivers of this success has been the popularity of products that combine moisturising and artificial tanning properties. The launch of Johnson's Holiday Skin in April 2005 spawned a new subsector, with Nivea, Dove and Garnier among the most recent entrants. The success of these hybrids, which account for 5% of the skincare market, has hit sales in the general-purpose corner of that category, which may help to explain Olay's declining fortunes.

A 9% rise in the value of anti-ageing products, which now account for 23% of the skincare market, have also contributed to the sector's success.

Colgate is the fastest-growing brand in the top 10. It captured 41% of the £270m toothpaste market last year, due largely to the success of its sensitive brands and launches of whitening products.

Gillette leads the table, with about 55% of the population having bought at least one of its products over the year. However, its sales were static, despite the launch of Mach 3 Power, Turbo Gel and Venus Vibrance. New owner P&G will be hoping for a better performance this year.

Top 10 Bathroom Toiletries 2006
RankBrandSales(£m)% change
1Gillette  170-175170-1750
2Colgate  145-150125-13014
3Lynx  110-115105-1104
4Dove  105-110110-115-5
5Oral-B  105-110100-1055
6Nivea  100-10595-1007
7Olay  85-9090-95-6
8Sure  75-8070-753
9Always  60-6570-75-14
10Pantene  55-6060-65-6


Confectionery: £2.3bn (+6%)

Perhaps surprisingly, confectionery is one of the few sectors to remain unaffected by consumers' growing preoccupation with health. The category's 6% rise in sales to £2.2bn reflects the strong counter-trend toward indulgence, with large blocks and boxed chocolates performing particularly strongly.

Cadbury Dairy Milk leads the field, with an 18% sales rise to nearly £205m. New flavour variants in larger blocks, including Almond and Honey, as well as the launch of share boxes and the Cadbury Easter Egg Delight, tapped into the indulgent gifts trend. The brand also benefited from a marketing push to celebrate its centenary, including the creation of a chocolate model of Sir Elton John at Madame Tussauds.

The success is unlikely to be replicated next year, however, after Cadbury Trebor Bassett products were removed for a short while last month from supermarket shelves due to a salmonella scare that is estimated to have cost the company £20m.

Top 10 Confectionery 2006
RankBrandSales(£m)% change
1Cadbury Dairy Milk  200-205170-17518
2Wrigley  65-7060-653
3Maltesers  65-7065-70-4
4Thorntons  60-6555-6015
5Quality Street  55-6050-5513
6Galaxy  55-6050-5512
7Celebrations  45-5045-501
8Mars  45-5045-501
9Haribo  45-5040-457
10Bassetts  40-4540-450


Biscuits: £1.8bn (+2%)

The biscuit market, which grew by 2.49% in value terms to £1.8bn, compared with 0.9% in volume, succinctly illustrates the polarisation between healthy and indulgence products, both of which are more expensive than the staple offering.

Healthier options, such as cereal bars and crispbreads, saw a 10% rise in value, with 68% of households buying into the segment. With an 18.1% share of the market, the healthy sector is closing the gap on chocolate biscuit bars - traditionally the biggest segment - which fell from 22% to 20.9%. Sales of premium biscuits rose by 12.4% to £144m, increasing their share of the sector from 7.5% to 8.3%.

Ryvita's 15% growth was fuelled by the launch of the Pumpkin Seeds & Oats and Sunflower Seeds & Oats variants. But the healthy segment's rise was partly hampered by the poor performance of rice cakes. Quaker Snack-a-Jacks experienced a 20% decline, probably as a result of cannibalisation of sales from Quaker launches such as Mini Bagels.

McVitie's is the leading biscuit brand owner, accounting for four of the top 10 positions. Its Jaffa Cakes posted the biggest rise, fuelled by the launch of lemon-and-lime and blackcurrant variants.

Top 10 Biscuit Brands 2006
RankBrandSales(£m)% change
1Kit Kat (two-finger)  75-8070-754
2McVitie's Choc Digestive  35-4035-403
3Twix  25-3025-307
4McVitie's Penguin  25-3025-303
5McVitie's Jaffa Cakes  25-3020-2515
6Quaker Snack-a-Jacks  20-2525-3020
7Ryvita Crispbread  20-2515-2015
8Fox's Rocky  20-2520-25-9
9Cadbury Fingers  20-2515-209
10McVitie's Digestives  15-2015-20-8


Petcare: £1.6bn (+5%)

Petcare sales grew 5% to £1.6bn, as the number of cat- or dog-owning households rose 2%, reflecting a growth in one-person households. The cat-food market is being driven by premiumisation and convenience, with the continuing success of the pouch format accounting for most of market leader Whiskas' 7% sales growth to nearly £205m. Single-serve cans are also increasing in popularity.

Whiskas launched Oh So Meaty and Oh So Fishy, backed by a £15m pan-European ad campaign created by TBWA\London, but it was not enough to stop Felix gaining ground, with a 16% rise in sales. Its promotional activities - such as last summer's £1m 'Officially Delicious' campaign - are helping it poach its rival's customers.

Top 10 Petcare Brands 2006
RankBrandSales(£m)% change
1Whiskas  200-205190-1957
2Felix  195-200170-17516
3Pedigree  170-175180-185-7
4Bakers  65-7050-5532
5Iams  55-6060-65-8
6Winalot  55-6055-600
7Go-Cat  45-5055-60-16
8Butcher's  35-4035-4012
9Kit-e-Kat  35-4045-50-21
10Hi-Life  25-3025-304


Packet breakfast: £1.6bn (+1%)

Within this category, breakfast cereals grew 3% in value, ahead of volume growth of just over 2%. The decline of the family breakfast has led producers to encourage cereals to be eaten at other times, as highlighted by the Special K 'Drop a jeans size' campaign, which recommended eating a bowl of cereal for lunch, while Cheerios advertised itself as a snack.

Weetabix remains the top-selling brand. Its 8% growth was helped by launches such as Weetabix Organic, Weetaflakes Prebiotic and Weetaflakes Fruit.

But Kellogg brands dominate the top 10, with Special K, Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies and Coco Pops enjoying strong growth. Three-quarters of the population have bought a Kellogg cereal in the past year, with new variants such as Special K Purple Berries and Coco Pops Straws adding interest to the category.

Nestle's 'healthy wholegrain' message appears to have benefited its entire range. The 12% sales rise posted by Quaker's Oat So Simple reflects a switch from what are perceived to be less healthy ready-to-eat cereals to healthier oats-based alternatives.

Top 10 Packet Cereals 2006
RankBrandSales(£m)% change
1Weetabix  105-110100-1058
2Kellogg's Special K  80-8575-805
3Nestle Shredded Wheat  70-7580-85-8
4Kellogg's Crunchy Nut  65-7060-6510
5Kellogg's Corn Flakes  60-6570-75-8
6Nestle Shreddies  50-5550-555
7Nestle Cheerios  40-4535-4013
8Kellogg's Rice Krispies  40-4540-452
9Kellogg's Coco Pops  30-3530-359
10Quaker Oat So Simple  30-3525-3012


Savouries: £1.3bn (+3%)

Savouries sales rose 3% to almost £1.3bn, fuelled by most of the leading brands launching products and refining their ranges. Walkers crisps continues to lead the category by a considerable margin, though its sales fell 2% to £240m, despite a high-profile relaunch at the beginning of the year.

Potato Heads, the healthy brand aimed at children, is the success story for Walkers. Launched in January 2005, sales grew by 208% to nearly £35m last year, helped by brand extension Cheese Heads.

United Biscuits reversed the huge sales falls suffered by its Hula Hoops and Mini Cheddars brands last year - down 14% and 13% respectively - by relaunching them in healthier formats.

Top 10 Savouries 2006
RankBrandSales(£m)% change
1Walkers (regular)  235-240240-245-2
2Pringles  100-10590-959
3Hula Hoops  40-4535-4015
4Walkers Sensations  40-4545-50-14
5Quavers  35-4035-402
6Mini Cheddars  35-4030-3516
7McCoys  35-4030-352
8Doritos  30-3525-308
9Walkers Potato Hds  30-355 10208
10Wotsits  25-3030-35-16

Source: TNS Worldpanel


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