Food and drink brands are proving remarkably resilient in the face of the raging health debate, according to new figures published exclusively by The Grocer.

Consumers appear unkeen to be force-fed the government’s health message with alcohol, confectionery and cakes among the big winners in The Grocer’s 62-page Top Products Survey.

Latest figures from ACNielson show sales of lager and wine both enjoyed inflation-busting sales rises in the last 12 months, while the £800m+ cake category posted a 4.9% sales hike.

Perhaps most encouraging for retailers and manufacturers was a 3% surge in chocolate confectionery sales, while sales of sugar confectionery enjoyed a more modest rise of 1.6%.

However, The Grocer’s annual survey also reveals that certain brands and categories have indeed felt the pinch with bagged snacks being among the biggest losers. According to ACNielson, the category suffered a 1.7% slide in the year to October 2, shedding £31m at the till to dip below the £1.8bn mark.

Market leader Walkers saw £8m wiped off the value of its core crisp range during the period under review, although the company’s figures were bolstered by an impressive £26m rise in sales of its premium Sensations range.

Kellogg’s Frosties was another big loser with the added-sugar cereal brand haemorrhaging sales of more than £5m, down more than 13%. The cereal giant’s stalwart Corn Flakes was also down, although the good news is that Special K has replaced it as the nation’s second bestselling cereal.

For more details on the Top Products Survey, see The Grocer this week dated December 11.