Advertising revenues were down more than a quarter across the whole sector as brand leaders cut back on spending.

Uncle Ben's reduced its spend on its core range 25.1% to £4.67m, however, it reduced its Risotto rice advertising by somewhat less 18.6%. Pot Noodle's ad budget was particularly heavily reined in, reduced by 70% to just over £800,000.

Of the leading brands, only Tilda showed a substantial increase in advertising spend, up 53% to £147,581. Tilda's latest campaign was aimed at educating consumers about the difference between Tilda Basmati rice and other grains.

A TV ad, featuring an Indian mum mourning the loss of her son to Tilda Steamed microwaveable Basmati rice, was aired during Channel 4's Indian Season at the start of this year. Kohinoor also doubled its advertising spend.

In noodles, Symington's, which was not captured in the Billetts data, says it has attempted to maintain the momentum from the launch of Golden Wonder: The Nation's Noodle last August with ongoing marketing. Focusing on the key 18­-30 male target audience, it has concentrated on lads' mags, digital communications and music festivals.

Focus On Rice & Noodles