“In every product category represented in the Top 100 table from soft drinks to savoury snacks, biscuits to butter, hot beverages to frozen food, confectionery to cooking sauces, the leading brands are incorporating concerns for the environment in their sourcing, new product development, and packing and distribution plans,” said report editor Fiona Briggs.
Justin Sargent, managing director, Nielsen UK, added: “The grocery industry has indeed risen to the challenge of ethical consumerism. From plastic bags and local sourcing to chicken farming and low energy light bulbs, the consumer has shown that they are increasingly concerned with the welfare of our planet, food provenance and the ethical credentials of the food they eat.
“We have seen the implementation of ethical and environmentally friendly strategies and foresee a future where such initiatives are utterly intrinsic to the operations of our retailers and grocery manufacturers.”
Smoothie brand Innocent is the fastest-growing brand overall with sales up 45.6% to £141.2m, moving it up 30 places to 33rd in the Top 100 table.
It ticks the ethical box with recent initiatives including the launch of 100% recycled bottles and a switch to greener electricity.
Walkers Crisps, the third biggest brand with a sales value of £424.5m, grew by 5.2% last year. It was the first company to declare its carbon footprint on the pack.
Rising prices have resulted in growths for some categories, driven by increases in the cost of raw materials due to increasing global demand combined with poor harvests worldwide.
Butters, spreads and cheeses have been hit by increases in milk and oil prices, while bread has also faced soaring raw material costs.
Top 10 Brands
1. Coca-Cola £959.9m
2. Warburtons £609.5m
3. Walkers Crisps £424.5m
4. Hovis £386.6m
5. Cadbury Dairy Milk £371.8m
6. Nescafé £346.9m
7. Lucozade £337.7m
8. Andrex £336.1m
9. Kingsmill £302.1m
10. Robinsons £283.8m
• Click on the link to visit the new Checkout Nielsen Top 100 Brands section on Talking Retail
By Fiona Briggs