Coca-Cola Named Ireland’s Biggest Selling Brand For 14th Year In A Row

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Coca-Cola Named Ireland’s Biggest Selling Brand For 14th Year In A Row

Coca-Cola has been named the biggest selling brand in Ireland for the 14th year in a row, according to the Checkout Top 100 Brands, produced by ESM's sister publication Checkout magazine, in association with Nielsen.

Irish-produced brands including Brennans bread (3rd), Avonmore (4th), and Tayto (5th) all make the top five, indicating the level of loyalty that consumers have to domestic favourites.

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“What we are seeing in this year’s Top 100 Brands ranking is an overall trend of steady growth for many FMCG brands, and some significant growth for others,” said Maev Martin, editor, Checkout magazine. “26 brands have scored an all-time high in 2018’s rankings, and a number of Irish brands are featured in this select group.

“Brands achieving their best position to date include Ballygowan, Dairygold, Kinder, Hunky Dorys, Keeling’s, Aptamil, Glenisk, innocent, Lindt, Magnum, Monster, Brady Family, Pepsi, Flahavan’s, Fulfil, Cully & Sully, MiWadi, Panadol, Ben & Jerry’s, Cadbury Wispa, O’Donnell’s, Clonakilty, Green Isle, Keogh’s, Cushelle, and Nature Valley.”


The Checkout Top 100 Brands is based on branded value sales across the Irish grocery sector, making it the most accurate barometer of the biggest selling brands in the marketplace. In compiling the report, Nielsen measures the sales performance of over 6,500 brands from over 200 product classes.

“The relative stability of the Top 100 Brands’ top-ten membership indicates that well-established and home-made brands are holding their own in the Irish market,” said Martin.

“Despite the continued rise of private label, and legislative changes in relation to packaging and the recent sugar tax, Ireland’s best-known and loved brands continue to innovate and thrive.”

Big Movers

One of the biggest movers in this year’s Top 100 Brands report is innocent drinks, which reaches a new personal best of 28th this year (2017: 37th).


The biggest mover this year, however, is energy drink Monster, which places 38th in the rankings, up from 64th last year. Elsewhere, chocolate brand Lindt, which only made its debut in the rankings last year, improves on last year’s 40th-place ranking by moving up to 31st place.

"There is good news for brands in 2018,” said Claire Cullen, Head of Analytics, Nielsen Ireland. “The strong economic performance, healthy labour market and positive consumer confidence has led to an easing of pressure on household budgets, boosting brand sales. Performing ahead of private label across all channels, exciting new opportunities are emerging, as shopper behaviour and needs change.

“To succeed in this dynamic market place, brands will need to listen to and address these changing consumer needs, in order to ensure continued growth into 2019."

Irish brands that have made a big impact in the rankings include crisps brand Hunky Dorys, which reaches 16th place (2017: 23rd), soups brand Cully & Sully, which places 50th (2017: 56th), and Clonakilty, which is 80th (2017: 86th).


In the popular Tea category, Barry’s Tea cements its position as Ireland’s best-selling brand, ranking 21st, while rival Lyons, part of the Unilever stable, places 30th. The two brands were neck and neck (Lyons 24th, Barry’s 25th) as recently as 2015.

Drinks Champions

The Nielsen report also measures the biggest selling drinks brands in Ireland.

Heineken leads the way in the Top 50 Alcohol brands list, for the fifth year in a row, while Santa Rita is Ireland’s biggest selling wine, topping the Top 20 Wines list. Smirnoff leads the Top 20 Spirits list, while Heineken is Ireland’s top selling beer, leading the Top 20 LADs list.

Category Leaders

As well as measuring the biggest selling brands in the marketplace, the report also gives details of the biggest selling grocery categories, with Confectionery leading the Top 100 Categories list, followed by Milk, Bakery, Carbonated Soft Drinks and Biscuits.


“While the ‘old reliables’ are still the big winners with Irish consumers, this year’s rankings reveal that the movement towards healthier eating habits continues,” said Martin.

“This is evident in the rising popularity of products in categories such as Pre-Packed Fresh Berries, which jumps six places this year to the 13th spot, Granola Bars, which moves up two places to 44th, and Special Dietary Products, which moves up four places from 2017."

Checkout Top 100 Brands 2018*:The Top 20

1. Coca-Cola
2. Cadbury Dairy Milk
3. Brennans
4. Avonmore
5. Tayto
6. Lucozade
7. 7UP
8. Extra
9. Jacobs
10. Red Bull
11. Goodfellas
12. Ballygowan
13. Dairygold
14. Nescafé
15. Kinder
16. Hunky Dorys
17. Pat The Baker
18. Pringles
19. Club
20. Irish Pride

* Produced in association with Nielsen. To obtain a copy of the full Top 100 Brands list, including the Top Alcohol and Top Tobacco categories, contact [email protected] for further details.

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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