Alcohol may once again have been the dominant category over the festive period, but as far as the brands were concerned it was the big hitters of confectionery, biscuit/cake and crisps/snacks brands that topped the tree - with a little help from a frozen food specialist.

The top five brands were the same in December 2007 as they were over Christmas in 2006, according to Assosia's like-for-like comparison of promotional activity, although there were changes to the amount of space each accounted for - and some of the rankings.

Cadbury retained first place with 33% of the top five branded activity, though its share dropped six points from last December's 39%, narrowing its lead on second-place Nestlé to two points. As with most brands in the chart, Cadbury brands were recorded across different categories.

Nestlé fought to hold on to second place, having dropped four points to 20% in December 2007 from 24% in 2006, putting it just one percentage point ahead of third-placed brand Mars.

Mars conversely increased its share of space from 12% share to 19%, helping it move up one place from joint fourth in December 2006, ahead of Walkers and Birds Eye.

Walkers gained one point but dropped one place from third to joint fourth. Frozen food specialist Birds Eye - the only non sweet or snack brand - managed to increase its share of the top five branded activity from 12% in 2006 to 14% in 2007 to tie with Walkers.

In category terms, four of the top five positions remained unchanged from December 2006 to December 2007. Alcohol increased its share by two points to take it to 41% of space, while grocery fell four points and confectionery gained four. Health and beauty and baby maintained its 11% share as well as its position.

Soft drinks and biscuits/cakes swapped places to put biscuits/cakes in joint fourth with health and beauty and baby, and knock soft drinks down to sixth.