Brands are still promoting hard, but now retailers are beginning to push their own-label lines in high-profile promotional spots once more. James Ball reports

After holding relatively steady for several months, the number of own-label products on promotion is once again soaring, according to figures from our new-format brand-tracking Promo Dynamic research.

Supermarkets are once again moving their own-label lines to aisle ends and other high-profile featured space. The number of own-label promotions has risen 12.9% since last month, and is 28.2% up on this time last year, increasing own-label's share of total promotions from 16.9% a year ago to 19.4% now.

But this rapid growth still falls massively short of the surge in activity from the brands promoting hardest. Cadbury, sitting in top spot, is running almost 80% more promotions than last year, and is discounting its products more steeply than last month, with the typical saving 31.1% compared with last month's 26%.

The slight fall in Cadbury's promotions month-on-month (-3.4%) was eclipsed by Nestlé's much more significant post-Easter fallback in promotional activity.

Though Nestlé retained the second spot by a significant margindue to its Easter boost, the number of lines on promotion in featured space has fallen back 37.1% since March, though it is still up on comparison with last year.

By far the greatest year-on-year increase in promotions came from Johnson & Johnson, which is in the midst of an aggressive campaign that has taken it from 43rd most promoted brand last month to 3rd place now. The personal care brand is running more than three times the number of promotions it did last month, and 45% more than this time last year.

Its discounting was also among the steepest in the top ten, at 45.2%, significantly above the typical 35.6% this time last year.

Elsewhere in the top 10, the promotional activity that accompanied Birds Eye's revamp earlier in the year is starting to tail off. The number of promotions is just over half that of last month, down 22.3% against last year, though the average saving remains fairly constant.

Walkers, down to 10th spot from 5th last month, and Mars were the only other top 10 brands with fewer promotions year-on-year.

The overall level of promotional activity remains high as supermarkets continue to expand the amount of promotional space available. The total number of promotions this month was 6,472, significantly up on the 5,784 this time last year. The typical discount has fallen slightly - from 33.5% to 32.7% - as more lines are on promotion.