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Wednesday, 8 August, 2001, 22:10 GMT 23:10 UK
Sunny slumps in UK brands chart
Walker's crisps on sale in a supermarket
Walker's crisps are Britain's top home-grown brand
Sunny Delight was the biggest loser, with Nothing Comes Closer to Sugar and four Australian wine makes the biggest winners, in the latest survey of Britain's top 50 brands.

The latest annual survey, published by research firm AC Nielsen and Marketing magazine, produced few surprises at the top of the charts.

Britain's 10 best-selling brands
Walker's crisps
Stella Artois
Muller yoghurt
Andrex toilet tissue
Robinson's juices
Kit Kat
Source: AC Nielsen

Coca-Cola, Walker's crisps, Nescafe and Stella Artois lager were the top-selling brands in the UK in the year to April.

But at the same time, some unexpected names are growing at the quickest rate, as Britons shift to healthy, organic and gourmet products.

Coke still king

Among the top names, there has been little change.

All the top seven brands this time around were in the top seven in last year's survey.

A supermarket shopper
So many brands, so little time

Head and shoulders above the rest is Coke, which enjoyed UK sales of 665m-670m in the year to April.

The number two product, Walker's - a British product but owned by Coke's US rival, Pepsico - had sales of 480m-485m in the same period, AC Nielsen said.

The only high-growth products at the top of the list were Stella Artois and Muller yoghurts, which saw sales growth of more than 20% year on year.

Minnows move around

Outside the top ten, there has been much more movement.

Sunny Delight
No delight for Sunny D

Many of the best-known brands have seen sales fall sharply over the last year.

The biggest loser has been Procter & Gamble's Sunny Delight, whose sales fell by 35%, taking its position down from 16 last year to 42 in 2001.

Sunny Delight, an orange drink aimed at children, has been hit by perceptions that it is less healthy than more natural brands.

A nation of health fiends...

The move towards health is evident among the fastest-growing brands.

Fastest-growing brands
Nothing Comes Closer to Sugar
Lowther's Cakes
Baby Organix
Danone Bio Activ
Banrock Station
Homepride Pasta Sauces
Blossom Hill
Source: AC Nielsen

The biggest growth was enjoyed by an artificial sweetener brand, Nothing Comes Closer to Sugar, owned by Silver Spoon.

Sales of the brand grew by almost 3,200% - although the firm spent more on advertising than it reaped in sales.

Other health products among the 20 fastest growers included Provamel soya products, and Hipp and Baby Organix - two ranges of wholesome baby foods.

... and drinkers

A less healthy, but equally significant development was the surge in wine - especially carefully branded and aggressively marketed Australian wines.

Bottles of wine
Wine sales have doubled in the last decade

Four Australian wine brands - Banrock Station, Blossom Hill, Hardy's Stamps and Lindemans - numbered among the 20 fastest growers, reaping sales growth of more than 40% year on year.

British wine consumption has doubled over the last 10 years, with most of that growth being captured by Australian and other "New World" producers.

French, German and Italian wines, which have less clearly defined brand names, have performed poorly over the same period.

Adding up

Wine was overall the fastest-growing sector, followed by pot desserts, cakes and cider.

The worst-performing sector was fabric care, which saw sales shrink by 6% year on year, despite spending 59m on advertising - the second-highest sectoral marketing spend.

The biggest amounts are spent on promotion in the personal care sector, which saw ad spend of 74m during the year, despite almost no sales growth.

See also:

07 Aug 01 | Business
Ad agencies weather slowdown
02 Aug 01 | Business
Bad times for beer
21 Jun 01 | Business
New world wins the wine war
18 Jul 00 | Americas
Coca-Cola 'loses some of its fizz'
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