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UK Insights

Brits favour British brands

Fraser McKevitt

Head of Retail and Consumer Insight

Brands 24.05.2017 / 10:00

Warburtons Sennep

Results of the Kantar Worldpanel 2017 UK Brand Footprint ranking

Brits are developing a growing taste for home-grown brands, according to Kantar Worldpanel’s fifth annual barometer of the nation’s most chosen FMCG brands. 

The latest Brand Footprint UK ranking, which measures which brands are being bought by the most consumers the most often, has revealed that the number of British favourites among the top 10 brands has increased to seven – up from six last year.  For the first time ever, none of the world’s 10 most chosen brands appear in the equivalent UK top 10 ranking. 

Rank Brand Penetration % Frequency Consumer Reach Points (M)

Consumer Reach Points Growth %
2015 v 2014

1 Warburtons 84.2 25.2 574 -7
2 Heinz 89.2 15.5 375 -3
3 Kingsmill 73.5 15.5 309 8
4 McVitie's 84.2 13.4 306 -2
5 Hovis 69.8 15.3 290 -12
6 Walkers 72.7 11 217 3
7 Muller 61 12.6 208 1
8 Birds Eye 74.1 10.1 201 -7
9 Cadbury's Dairy Milk 70.9 8.8 169 0
10 Cadbury 68.6 8.4 156 0

Local brands outperform global counterparts

Worldwide, spend on local brands has grown by 3.9% in comparison to a 2.6% increase on global names, and the UK is following this trend.  While the amount spent on brands fell in the UK in 2016 as intense competition between the supermarkets brought on falling prices, local brands still outperformed global brands, falling by 1.2% in comparison with a decline of 2.8% for the latter. 

Competition from own-label products hots up

In the UK, five of this year’s top 10 brands – Kingsmill, Walkers, Müller, Cadbury Dairy Milkand Cadbury– have seen the frequency with which their goods are picked up off the shelves increase. However, penetration – the percentage of the population buying a brand – has fallen for each of the names included in the British top 10, and overall branded sales have decreased by 1.6% in comparison to private label growth of 1.7%.

It’s been a challenging year for brands across all FMCG sectors. British retailers have stepped up their own label offer, consolidating and recalibrating their private-label lines in response to consumer demand for quality goods at low prices.  The growth of Aldi and Lidl’s market share has also played a role as consumers become accustomed to seeing non-branded products on the shelves. Consumers have responded by increasingly opting for own-label alternatives across all retailers, and the proportion of the population buying the top 10 branded products has fallen by an average 2.5%.

Brands and manufacturers need to keep pace with changing consumer behaviours if they are to succeed.  Today’s shoppers want to be healthier, happier and have their lives made easier, so brands will need to innovate in a way that matches these needs – easing busy lifestyles and tapping into consumer concerns around health and wellbeing.

Native successes

Bolton-based Warburtons leads the UK ranking thanks to84.2%of the population picking it from supermarket shelves an average of25.2times a year. 

The fastest grower in this year’s top 10 is Kingsmill, which has risen two places to reach third place in the overall ranking, as a result of increased retail distribution.  Those buying the brand do so8.7%more often than the year before – up to15.5times a year from14.3the year before. 

Walkers – bought by nearly three quarters of shoppers – was picked off the shelves an additional seven million times last year.  This increase of 3% and was driven by its new Bugles and Tear ‘N’ Share ranges, which tapped into the growing trend towards sharing packs. 

New this year, Kantar Worldpanel not only looked at the top 10 overall ranking – all of which are currently food brands – but also each at each of the top 10 beverage, homecare and health and beauty rankings.


As well as taking the global number one spot, Coca-Cola remains the UK’s favourite drinks brand, chosen by shoppers 152 million times shoppers over the year.  Meanwhile Nescafé, the highest ranked hot beverage brand, shrugged off the long-term trend of consumers, especially younger ones, drinking fewer hot drinks at home.  This is in part thanks to its introduction of Azera coffee-to-go – a box of cups ready to be filled with hot water at home and carried out.


This year’s successful homecare brands all released innovations which customers were happy to pay a premium for.  Top ranked homecare brand Fairy was chosen 5% more often than last year, helped by an increased presence across bargain retailers, where shoppers are increasingly sourcing their homecare purchases.  Comfort found new consumers with its ultra-concentrated Intense format, designed to not only add fragrance but save on packaging and other environmental costs. 

It’s not just humans seeking a bit of luxury: pet food brand Gourmet rose four places up the ranking with its range of ‘soups’ for cats.

Health and beauty

With consumers increasingly looking for their beauty routines to be both natural, both Simple and Alberto Basalm, which has changed formulation to be less chemically intense, have risen up the ranking.  Simple rose two places to 14th, while Alberto Balsam went up four places to 18th.  

Source : Kantar Worldpanel

Editor's Notes

Brand Footprint: the study

Kantar Worldpanel’s annual Brand Footprint study is based on research from 73 per cent of the global population; a total of one billion households in 43 countries across five continents—covering 75 per cent of the global GDP. As part of the study, Kantar Worldpanel tracks 200 FMCG categories around the world across beverages, food, health and beauty and home care.

To access the full global, regional, country and sector rankings and a complete index of the brands included in the Global Top 50, please visit

Kantar Worldpanel’s four category reports (food, beverages, homecare, health and beauty) looking specifically at UK brands are available here.

Brand Footprint: the Top 50 ranking

Kantar Worldpanel’s annual Top 50 ranking of the world’s most chosen FMCG brands reveals which brands are achieving global success, providing insights to help FMCG brands set global targets more accurately and improve their global business growth.

It is set apart from other brand rankings by providing information on real consumer behaviour rather than attitude. Consumer Reach Points (CRPs) form the basis of the ranking. An innovative metric that measures how many households around the world are buying a brand (penetration) and how often (frequency), it provides a true representation of shopper choice.

Methodology and scope

This year’s ranking analysed 15,300 brands and 1 billion households in 43 countries across five continents in the 12 months to November 2016.

For more information, please contact us.

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