Britain's 100 Biggest Brands 2010

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The music industry is on its knees. The age of digital download has made a mockery of phrases like ‘triple platinum’ - no reserved only for the most rare and TV pump-primed acts. The only way brands make money these days is with a worldwide tour.

So how do Britain’s Biggest Brands compare? In the week that we report own-label sales lagging behind brands, this special supplement to The Grocer shows the resounding health of the leading players.

True, in much the same way that established rock acts are wheeled out for another world tour, golden oldies such as Coca-Cola, Hovis, Heinz soup, John West, Rowntree’s and even Twinings - the oldest swinger on this list - have skilfully exploited their familiarity, in these uncertain times, while new acts go undiscovered.

But also performing strongly are relative newcomers. Two of the fasted-growing brands - Danone Activia and Cravendale - are barely a decade old, proving it is possible for a newer brand to make the big time.

But if this year’s survey proves anything, it is just how hard it is to reach the top in grocery - and to stay there.

It’s 19 years, for example, since Tropicana launched. In the last year, along with young upstart Innocent Drinks, it has undergone a torrid time. But over that 19-year period, and even after a 19% reversal last year, Tropicana is still clocking up annual sales of £270m.

In the meantime, 40% of the 100 biggest brands from that era have fallen out of the charts. it’s a highly competitive market, and recession, sterling fluctuations and changing consumer tastes have played havoc with the best-laid plans of many of Britian’s Biggest Brands.

To stay at the top, as Johnny said, you’ve got to be good.

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