Sales of pasta and pasta sauces have thrived despite a significant dip in advertising spend. Mars cut its advertising budget for Dolmio almost in half, from £8.29m last year to £4.33m this year. However, Dolmio was still the most heavily advertised brand in the category, with this spend divided almost entirely between TV and press advertising.

Mars more dramatically slashed the budget for its organic Seeds of Change brand, from £446,336 last year to £22,926 this year, as it acknowledged the slowdown of the organic sector caused by the recession. The remaining Seeds of Change budget was spent largely on press advertising.

Mars was the biggest spender on internet advertising in the pasta and pasta sauces category with £4,337 spent on online advertising for Dolmio and £1,550 for Seeds of Change.

Meanwhile, Premier Foods maintained Loyd Grossman's position as the number two sauce brand with a £1.02m ad spend and extensive in-store promotion.

Sacla' cut its advertising on its Sacla' pesto range by 31.6% to £544,400, although it did spend an additional £6,907 on its Sacla' stir-through range, which received no advertising the previous year. The Sacla' pesto spend all went on TV advertising, whereas the stir-through budget was spent on press advertising.

Bucking the downward trend, Roma Bolognese Sauce came from nowhere with a £45,337 spend and niche player Imaginative Cuisine upped its spending on its premium Balsamico products by 336.2% to £8,508.

Focus On Pasta & Pasta Sauces