Britain's Biggest Grocery Brands 2013

When it comes to promotions, keeping it simple is the name of the game right now. retailers and suppliers have been upping their use of straight money-off deals on featured space such as gondola ends, and have moved away from potentially confusing mechanics such as ‘extra-free’.

Money-off deals - or ‘save’ offers - accounted for 45.2% of all promotions over the four weeks to 11 May, up from 38.5% in the same period a year ago.

Last month, The Grocer reported Cadbury had been favouring money-off in the run up to Easter, and it has to employed the mechanic for over half its deals in the past four weeks, up from 28.3% last year, while running fewer half-price and multibuys.

It’s one of six of the top 10 most-promoted brands (see table) to have increased the use of ‘save’ deals. Mars and Fairy moved away from half-price in favour of money-off, and half-price accounted for 17.3% of all featured space promotions - down from 21.6% in 2013.

Some brands have bucked the trend, however, with Coca-Cola and Walkers eschewing money-offs in favour of multibuys. Coke increased its total promotions by almost a third year on year, with multibuys accounting for 75.7% of activity compared with 61.1% a year ago.

The average saving offered by straight money-offs has stayed static year-on-year at 30.8%, and across all featured space the average saving has fallen only fractionally from 32.4% to 32.1%. But under the surface there have been changes. beer & lager and fresh veg deals have become deeper but at 20.2% and 25.7% respectively are below market average.

Conversely, typical promotions on non-food including health & beauty and laundry have become shallower although the subcategory with the greatest savings remains toiletries, at 40.5%.

Looking at activity month on month, overall featured space promotions have fallen, mainly due to a drop in activity following Easter. In total, 755 deals were offered by Cadbury, Nestlé and Mars this month compared with 884 four weeks ago.

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