There was only one direction for promotional activity in the cereals aisle, and that was up. Faced with consumers defecting to own-label alternatives, branded cereals were forced to up the ante. And the supermarkets have been happy to oblige, with promos in Tesco almost doubling.

An increase in promotions in the four weeks to 7 November saw Nestlé's cereal brands add 1.3 value share points and 3.2 volume share points, according to IRI.

Kellogg's Special K saw the highest increase in promotional activity. The second and third most promoted cereals were also Kellogg's brands Coco Pops and Crunchy Nut. However, volume sales of Special K fell 0.1% and Coco Pops fell 5.5%, with only Crunchy Nut benefiting, with volumes up 12.6%.

Quaker's Oats So Simple more than doubled its promotional activity up from 41 deals in 2008 to 96 in 2009, and saw volumes increase 18.3%. There has also been an increase in promos on bigger packs, which consumers perceive as offering better value.

Focus On Cereals