Several major brands slashed promotional activity in the past month. The big exceptions were Birds Eye, Lindemans and Pampers. Alex Beckett reports

In a break from the pattern of ­recent months, the number of promotions and the level of ­saving dropped over the past month as Mars, Coca-Cola and in particular Kellogg's significantly pulled back activity.

The total number of products on deal fell from 8,443 to 7,476 over the past month [Assosia 4w/e 15 August]. Kellogg's had 35.5% fewer deals. Former World Cup sponsors Mars and Coca-Cola reined in promotions by 24.2% and 23.1% respectively as they continued to pull back from tournament-related ­activities.

The figures also suggested brands were being squeezed out again by own label, said Assosia MD Kay Staniland. While there were 99 fewer own-label deals last month, the 868 drop in brand deals was "far more significant", she said.

"Clearly retailers are seeing the benefits of own label in promoting the lowest prices," she said. "It's set to be hard discussion time again, with the branded suppliers fighting each other for any ­diminishing space."

There is another factor at play, however. The total number of brands on promotion last month was 664 significantly down on 790 year-on-year. Staniland put this down to a reduction in the number of promotions by smaller brands. "They are losing out to the bigger players, who are more willing to invest in off-fixture promotional activity," she said.

Birds Eye, which announced a £1 Back To School promotion this week, replaced Coca-Cola at the top of the table and had 20 more deals than second-placed Cadbury.

Nestlé provided 128 promotions month-on-month, down 1.5%, and the level of saving fell by almost 12%.

Walkers climbed three places to fifth, its Extra Crunchy crisps on a £1 promotion in Morrisons this week. Walkers was also the only brand to use every type of mechanic during the past four weeks, but against the level of saving was down by 9%.

Also reining in the discounts was McVitie's despite running two- for-one offers on its Hobnobs in Tesco and Sainsbury's over the past month.

The biggest movements are found at the foot of the table. Aussie wine brand Lindemans has been making the most of the warm weather with deals on its Chardonnay, and stormed nine places up to ninth.

Pampers recorded last month's heftiest rise in ­promotions, jumping from 31st to 10th. The P&G business has continued to support the summer launch of its Active Fit nappies with price cuts across the big four.