The mega brand is still king ­ but a bevy of young pretenders are snapping greedily at the heels of the giants. New and nearly new brands gave the established supremos a run for their money, slowed down their growth, and in some cases toppled the established order ­ all while carving out a tidy piece of the action for themselves. All in all, 1998 was a pretty flat year, good for some individual brands but without a massive increase in sales value overall. Established sectors showed slow growth with less mature grocery markets such as toiletries performing better than average. June Hampton and Sheila Eggleston have joined forces with Information Resources (formerly IRI InfoScan) to produce this review of the movers and shakers in branded products this year. Each of the sections contains a Star Product, our personal pick of the best of the products seen on our pages during the year. {{FEATURES }}