barbecue meat

Easter is a distant memory to retailers who spent the May bank holiday weekend selling barbies and burgers, but its impact can still be seen in our table of the most promoted brands.

Nine of the 10 brands most active on featured promotional space ran fewer deals in the four weeks to 10 May than in the preceding four weeks (which included Easter), according to data from analysts Assosia.

An increase across such a wide range of brands highlights how Easter has become a season everyone can jump aboard, says Assosia MD Kay Staniland. “Easter is not only confectionery but cakes, alcohol, meat and poultry,” she adds. “There are also more FSDUs, so once they go there is less featured space.”

Although the biggest brands have put the brakes on, the overall number of deals has barely changed month on month - a sign of the pressure retailers and suppliers are under to feed consumers’ appetite for deals all year round. The picture is even clearer from year-on-year figures, with supermarkets running almost 1,000 more deals than this time last year - an increase of 8%.

“Some of this is down to retailers giving more space to featured promotions, but there is also more pressure on brands and retailers to compete with each other,” says Staniland.

This is reflected in the widening gap between the number of own-label and branded promotions. Total branded deals at the big five mults have risen from 9,008 a year ago to 10,030 this year, while own label has dropped from 2,091 to 1,952.

Also widening is the gap between the proportion of deals using the straightforward ‘save’ mechanic and more complex offers such as multibuys. Last week The Grocer reported ‘save’ offers now account for half the total deals in supermarkets, and this week’s data on the 10 most-promoted brands shows all but one has increased its use of ‘save’ offers year on year. ‘Save’ promotions now make up at least three-quarters of the total deals used by Cadbury, Birds Eye, Mars, Mr Kipling and - despite slightly reducing its use of the mechanic - Hardy’s.