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February 22, 2007

UK: Healthier products move up “league table”

A recently published survey compiled by market research company AC Nielsen and grocery trade magazine Checkout appears to confirm that UK consumers are making strides towards healthier eating.

A recently published survey compiled by market research company AC Nielsen and grocery trade magazine Checkout appears to confirm that UK consumers are making strides towards healthier eating.


The Top 100 Grocery Brands league table shows a marked improvement in the popularity of healthier products.


The report is compiled from actual sales data as recorded through the EPoS checkout scanners in all major food retailers in the country and represents sales at more than 74,000 stores.


Among the healthier products debuting in the table is smoothie brand Innocent which has entered the Top 100 for the first time, at number 63, and is the fastest growing brand with sales up 140% last year to over GBP96m (US$187m). Danone Bio Activia is the second fastest growing brand and highest new entry at number 60 with sales up by 77% in 2006 to GBP98m (US$191m).


Yeo Valley Organic is also a notable performer, with sales growth of 25% in the last year. In fact, Yeo Valley is the first fully organic brand to enter the Top 100 league, at number 88. Like other players in the rankings, it is benefiting from the trend to more natural and wholesome products, Nielsen said.


“Health has dominated the consumer’s agenda, whose priorities and habits have changed dramatically over the past few years,” said Eleni Nicholas, group managing director, ACNielsen UK & Ireland. “Many manufacturers and retailers have fundamentally changed their products to provide a healthier offering. We can see this has led to some phenomenal growth in sales for those companies that have placed this at the core of their business.”


Gains were also achieved by Kellogg’s Special K, up 17.2%, Tropicana, growing by 27.4%, and milk brand Cravendale, up by 20%. Healthy drinks performed well as a category with all the leading bottled water brands in double-digit growth. Even teas are selling well with Twinings making the Top 100 for the first time, growing at 10.9% on the back of its herbal and fruit ranges.

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