The nature of promotional activity may have changed but the level of activity has not. Although Müller reduced its number of promotions, the other four major suppliers increased theirs.

Meanwhile Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury's have increased their activity, Morrisons quite markedly, while both Asda and Waitrose have reduced theirs.

Yeo Valley's head of brand marketing Ben Cull confirms that across the category there has been a move away from deep-cut promotions, which are notorious for rewarding promiscuous promotion hunters rather than encouraging long-term loyalty. While he accepts price promotions are important in the marketing mix, he warns of the dangers of devaluing the category and brands by focusing solely on price.

Thanks to increased ingredient and distribution costs, promotions have become increasingly difficult to justify financially, says Tideford Organics MD Lynette Sinclair, which is why her company is channelling its financial resources into boosting marketing spend instead.

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