Although there is a widespread perception that Ben & Jerry's is always on offer, it is not the most heavily promoted. In 2009, Unilever's Wall's umbrella brand ran the most promotions (476 of them), followed by Nestlé (428).

Ben & Jerry's was responsible for just 105, although this was signficantly more than the previous year. Ben & Jerry's also ran some of the deepest discounts: the biggest average cost saving on a brand in 2009 was on Ben & Jerry's at £2.15, followed by Cadbury's at £1.84.

Mars ran 77 promotions and introduced price-marked packs to its take-home range, and, according to trade relations manager Bep Sandhu, these have worked well: "We will be offering multibuy deals to kickstart the season, typically five-for-four deals [the most popular type of promotion in the market, according to Billetts]. We will also be calling more than 25,000 independent retailers to offer them this promotion."

Focus On Ice Cream