The launch of its World Cup campaign has pushed Carlsberg into the top 10, while Easter offers put Cadbury and Nestlé at the top, says Alex Beckett

There are still four months to go before a certain football tournament this summer, but World Cup fever accounted for the biggest noise on the promotion calendar last month albeit in an indirect way.

Carlsberg breaks into the top 10 of biggest-promoting brands for only the third time in the past 12 months, rocketing up to seventh place from its usual position in the mid-20s. The beer giant put the increase down to the February launch of its World Cup campaign, 'Probably the Best Team Talk in the World'.

"Evidently grocers have really got behind the idea in a big way. They like the fact that we are able to put England players on-pack and on point of sale," says David Scott, director of customer marketing.

However, the saving made by Carling consumers compared with last year is down nine percentage points. And five of the top 10 have reduced the level of saving, with the average also declining by 0.6 percentage points.

As the chocolate Easter egg offers pile up at the front of supermarkets, impulse and confectionery replaced beer, wines, spirits and increasingly cider as the biggest-promoted category. With 16.3% of all deals, alcohol lagged just behind confectionery and impulse, which made up 22.1%.

Nestlé continued its charge up the ranks, second only to the other major egg supplier Cadbury in terms of the volume of deals.

And although Cadbury accounted for more than double the number of deals than the Kit Kat maker last month, and increased the level of saving, it could not match Nestlé in terms of percentage savings.

Birds Eye and Kellogg's both dropped back a place and the cereal manufacturer had the biggest month-on-month change, of 211%.

Premier Foods' big reveal of Mr Kipling's wife last month, in support of a promotional focus on Oatibake bars, helped it jump to eighth spot, banishing McCain from the top 10.

Following its recent charitable link-up with Unicef, Pampers re-entered the top 10 with 75 promotions, up 53% on last month.

Another new entrant to the list is Aussie wine brand Hardys, which has moved 12 ranks to ninth biggest promoter, following a new money-off deal.

Although such deals made up the majority of all brand offers, at 34.8%, x-for-y promotions have dramatically increased in popularity, accounting for 34.6%. Another shift in mechanics has seen bogofs increase by two percentage points.