There were some big increases in promotional activity over the past year. Fox's upped its focus on promotions, with in-store activity linked to its Vinnie the Panda TV ads. The strategy has paid off. It is growing significantly ahead of the market in value and volume Fox's sales climbed 11.9% to £139m [Nielsen 52w/e 8 August].

McVitie's retained the overall top spot, with promotions up by 471, but Mr Kipling made a valiant effort to close the gap, increasing its promotions by 549.

Burton's, in contrast, cut its promotional activity down by 58 on last year. "We had a huge amount of promotional activity around Cadbury Fingers in 2008, but we're not promoting as hard this year," says Garfitt. "You have to ask how much of the brand is selling on deal. It was at about 65%, so we pulled some back to build base sales."

All of the big four retailers upped the number of offers they ran this year, up 1,110 collectively. Morrisons, which overtrades in both biscuits and cakes, was the heaviest promoter.

Focus On Cakes & Biscuits