Despite the much talked of decline in advertising budgets during the recession, it's not all doom and gloom. Advertising budgets for the big spenders in world cuisine were in many cases higher than the previous year. Uncle Ben's remained the undisputed king of world cuisine advertising, with the spend for its rice alone accounting for £5.86m, up 61.5% on last year, and six-figure budgets for a number of other Uncle Ben's ranges.

Sharwood's also upped its spend for this year, from £1.34m last year to £1.68m this year, but the focus of that advertising changed. After concentrating almost exclusively on the Thai range last year, with a budget of £1.32m, this year owner Premier Foods slashed the Thai budget to £0.17m instead distributing the money on other areas of the Sharwood's portfolio, such as noodles, Indian sauces and its revamped Chinese range.

Also pumping advertising money into the Chinese category is General Mills. Its new Wanchai Ferry range burst on to the scene with a £1.49m spend this year.

However, there were some cuts in budgets, including a 26.2% cut in advertising for General Mill's Mexican brand Old El Paso.

There were more dramatic drops in the budgets for a number of eastern brands. Heinz cut the spend on its Chinese brand Amoy from £702,506 last year to just £66,166. Oriental brand Blue Dragon took its ad spend from £1.63m last year to just £33,328 this year, while Tilda, which ranked among the high spenders last year, with a budget of £2.13m, this year spent just £104,581.

Focus On World Cuisine