The winner of our Branded Supplier of the Year award had to beat off stiff competition from the likes of Mars, Heinz and Dairy Crest for the top spot.

That PepsiCo did so despite operating in one of the toughest categories around - crisps, nuts and snacks - is testament to its proactive account management, genuinely innovative NPD and sheer determination in the face of adversity - a.k.a. the healthy eating agenda.

The owner of Walkers, Britain's leading crisp brand, was singled out from the 14 winners of this year's Branded Suppliers Survey for its success in reversing a decline in sales by reducing salt levels, switching its recipe to a healthier cooking oil and utilising heavy promotional activity to push the health message.

As reformulation programmes go, they don't get much more comprehensive. Walkers kicked off 2007 by cutting the salt and saturated fat content of Quavers, Monster Munch, Squares and French Fries in a wave of activity, supported by a £5m campaign to highlight the changes.

PepsiCo has also led the way with local sourcing and green issues. Last year it adopted a 100%-British potato-sourcing policy, backed by a £7.5m marketing campaign and pack redesign. As a pioneer of the Carbon Trust's carbon footprint labelling scheme, it continues to work hard to educate its consumers about energy use.

The buyers who judged the award praised PepsiCo for being able to work well across a number of product areas. "The company is strategic and innovative in coming up with things to the benefit of our customers," according to one multiple buyer.