Belfast Telegraph

Irish brands holding their own

More than half of Ireland's top 10 brands are home-grown, a new survey has revealed.

While Coca-Cola topped the poll for the sixth year in a row, Irish labels Avonmore, Brennans and Tayto all secured a spot in the final five. Cadbury's Dairy Milk, Jacob's and Denny also made it into the top ten of the Checkout Top 100 Brands survey.

Budweiser was the most popular alcoholic drink in shopping baskets, with Bulmers cider overtaking Smirnoff and Heineken into second place.

John Ruddy, editor of Checkout magazine, said Irish producers were coping well with the challenge of low-cost imports.

"The last 18 months have been the toughest trading period for the Irish grocery market since the 1980s, however both retailers and branded suppliers have responded to the new climate," he said.

"The performance of Irish brands within the Top 100 shows that Irish shoppers will choose locally-produced products if the option is there to do so, and in a market where Irish goods are increasingly threatened by cheap imports, it is refreshing to see that consumers still recognise the importance of supporting local producers."

Irish yoghurt producer Glenisk entered the Top 100 for the first time, while oat producers Flahavans moved up 20 positions to 79th place. Meanwhile, Blossom Hill has overtaken Wolf Blass to become the best-selling wine brand. The top five in the tobacco category were Silk Cut, Benson & Hedges, John Player, Marlboro and Superkings.

While the Top 100 Brands analysis monitors only the performance of branded goods, Mr Ruddy said own-brand goods had seen a steady increase in recent years, now accounting for around one-fifth of all grocery sales.

"Consumer behaviour has changed hugely, with shoppers now shopping in more stores, actively seeking out deals, and switching to private label alternatives in categories where they were previously loyal to big-name brands," he added.

"The resurgence of recession busting categories is also evident, with frozen poultry, frozen fish, frozen vegetables, canned veg and tins of baked beans all seeing sales increases year-on-year."

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