Easter promotions dominated the promotional aisles last weekend as Easter eggs and chocolate bars helped confectionery grab a 42% share of impulse offers.

But there was one clear winner. Cadbury stole the show with a whopping 50% of the activity in the top five branded activity chart, beating second-placed Nestlé's share by 31 percentage points.

Cadbury left no stone unturned in its bid to optimise sales. It used a variety of promotional mechanics including the single-purchase save and various x-for-y offers. Nestlé, which had eggs on offer in all five retailers, used mainly x-for-y and buy-one-get-one-free.

Third place went to Mars with 16%. Mars Easter eggs were on offer in Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco, primarily in x-for-y deals.

No Easter would be complete without the Lindt chocolate bunny, and Lindt, which was fourth on 10%, had x-for-y promotions in Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco.

Galaxy accounted for the remaining 6% of activity and was on offer in Asda using save. Its packs of Minstrels and Revels were available on promotion in Morrisons using x-for-y, and Galaxy block chocolate bars were promoted in Sainsbury's and Tesco, again using x-for-y.

Cadbury's strong start to the year puts the brand in the lead of the overall confectionery chart, with 46% of activity, 14 percentage points and one place higher than it finished in 2007. Nestlé has gained four percentage points and moved up one place to second, pushing previous category leader Mars down the table to third place with 15% - a drop of 20 percentage points from its 2007 first-place position. Lindt is currently in fourth place with 7% of activity and Galaxy is in fifth with 5%.

As far as the retailers go, Sainsbury's recorded the most activity in confectionery last weekend, accounting for 36% of offers. Tesco was second with 24%, Morrisons third with 19%, Somerfield fourth with 14% and Asda fifth with 8%.