Innovations drive brand growth and win back space in shoppers’ baskets

Celebrating Ireland's most chosen brands Conway

The recently released 2024 Ireland Brand Footprint report by Kantar sheds light on the brands that have not only endured but thrived in challenging times


Brand Central

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21 June 2024

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In a landscape marked by fluctuating economic conditions and shifting consumer priorities, the resilience and efforts of certain brands have shone through, driving their growth and securing their place in the hearts and baskets of Irish shoppers, writes Emer Healy, business development manager, Kantar 


The top five most chosen brands in Ireland have remained steadfast, with Brennans, Avonmore, Tayto, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, and Jacob’s holding their positions.

These brands exemplify the enduring trust Irish households place in familiar names.

However, the story of success extends beyond mere familiarity.

It is the relentless pursuit of innovation that has set these brands apart and allowed them to maintain their stronghold. 

Jacob’s, for instance, exemplifies how innovation can be relevant to a brand.

By introducing unique flavour combinations such as cheese and pickle for their classic cheddars and rosemary for their Mediterranean range, Jacob’s has not only catered to evolving consumer tastes but also carved out new opportunities for consumption throughout the day.

This strategic innovation has cemented their position in the top five and kept their products a staple in many Irish homes. 

Strategic partnerships

The power of strategic partnerships and innovative campaigns is also evident in the success stories of Ballygowan and Guinness.

Ballygowan’s leap into the top 100 brands, climbing 32 positions to reach number 81, was fueled by its partnership with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU).

This collaboration significantly boosted brand awareness and household penetration by 17.2%. Similarly, Guinness‘ launch of its non-alcoholic 0.0 beer, coupled with a robust responsible drinking campaign, propelled them 21 positions up the ranking, demonstrating how aligning with consumer values can drive brand growth. 

Flahavan’s and Philadelphia have also illustrated how addressing specific dietary needs can resonate with consumers and drive market presence.

Flahavan’s introduction of gluten-free jumbo oats tapped into the growing demand for gluten-free options, increasing their presence in Irish households by 38.5% and elevating their ranking to number 34.

Philadelphia’s expansion into plant-based cream cheese variants for vegan and lactose-intolerant consumers resulted in a 30.2% increase in market presence, climbing 17 positions to number 87. 

Familiar brands

Even amidst a cost-of-living crisis, Irish shoppers continue to prioritise brands that offer not just familiarity but also innovation and small luxuries within their budgets.

The success of these brands underscores a crucial insight: innovation is not just about creating new products but about understanding and meeting the evolving needs and values of consumers. 

Brands that have managed to break into the rankings or improve their positions have done so by focusing on what their consumers truly need, whether through new product development, strategic partnerships or targeted campaigns.

This adaptive approach is a testament to the power of innovation in driving brand growth and recovering space in shoppers’ baskets. 

The 2024 Ireland Brand Footprint report highlights not just the most chosen brands but the dynamic strategies that underpin their success.

For brands looking to make an impact, the message is clear: innovate, adapt and stay connected to your consumers. 

Q&A with… Emer Healy, business development director, Kantar 

Q: There’s been a drop in inflation in the last few months, which will be very welcome news for consumers. How have you seen this reflected in the Kantar 100 Master Brands at Home ranking?  

Inflation has been a key concern for Irish consumers since we started to see a signification increase across the last two years. Inflation for take-home grocery hit an all-record high of 16.2% in May 2023 and we saw that Irish shoppers responding by keeping a close eye on household budgets and mitigate rising costs. Over the 12 weeks to the 14 May 2024, we saw a soar in Private Label +16.3% which was an additional €211 million being spent year-on-year, shoppers still turned to brands however, the increase in spend was 8.2% year-on-year.  

Our latest data to the 12 May 2024 inflation currently stands at 2.58% whereas when our Brand Footprint rankings were taking place inflation stood at 9.78% with data ending 1st October 2023 so it was a slightly different environment then what we are seeing today as, inflation rates were still significantly higher.  

However, there is more of a positive outlook as less shoppers struggle due to this easing on inflation pressures. Back in October 2023 32% of shoppers stated that they were struggling to make ends meet in February of 2024 this number is at 25%.  

Regardless of inflation pressures, we did see a stronger landscape for brands to grow. In this year’s Brand Footprint, we say 42 out of the top 100 brands growing through (Consumer Reach Points) CRPs which was an increase on last year were only 25 saw CRP growth. We also saw this in penetration terms, this year 33% of brands grew by attracting new shoppers into their brand offerings and last year this figure stood at 20%.

Q: Shoppers in Ireland are still on the hunt for value. Has a focus on providing value delivered results for certain brands? 

Although Irish shoppers were on the hunt for value and 25.3% of total grocery spend was bought on promotion over the four weeks to 12 May 2024, Irish brands remained strong and three out of the top five were Irish brands – Brennans, Avonmore and Tayto. 

Q: More frequent trips contributed to a boost in sales for Ireland’s top grocers. Have you seen this trend affect the performance of particular brands? 

 According to our latest data in the year to 12 May 2024 shoppers made on average 270 trips over the course of the year which is an additional 9.5 trips or is up 3.6% year-on-year. Out of the top 100 brands Santa Rita saw the strongest growth in frequency amongst all brands. The brand saw shoppers make an additional 2.9 trips versus last year which is up a significant 24.1% year-on-year with shoppers picking up on average Santa Rita 15 times across 2023. This impressive boost in frequency has Santa Rita holding 67th places in the rank up a noteworthy 34 places from last year and saw their CRP growth up 28.1% alongside attracting new shoppers into the brands offerings +0.2 percentage points.  

Q: Traditionally, Irish brands have always performed strongly within the Kantar 100 Master Brands at Home ranking. How has this pattern continued in the past year? 

Yes, Irish Brands historically perform extremely well. This year we saw Irish brands holding strong with three out of the top five being Irish alongside this, 10 out of the top 25 brands are Irish. Keoghs entered into the top 20 for the first time jumping eight places in the ranking holding the 18th spot and saw their CRP up 16.3% versus last year. Keoghs welcomed new shoppers into the brand this year alongside a significant boost in frequency up 12.8% versus last year. 

Q: The largest increase in this year’s ranking was achieved by Glenisk, up a massive 57 places! What factors would you attribute this success to? 

Glenisk was the top riser by CRP in the top 100 +79.9% moving a massive 57 places now holding 39th place. Alongside this Glenisk saw the biggest increase up 7.9 ppts. Glenisk saw an expansion of their range and created a new Greek style granola – convenient for on-the-go consumption!  

Q: Another outstanding performance in the rankings was Santa Rita wine with an impressive 34 places. What do you think was behind the wine brands success in the past year?   

Out of the top 100 brands Santa Rita saw the strongest growth in frequency amongst all brands. The brand saw shoppers make an additional 2.9 trips versus last year which is up a significant 24.1% year-on-year with shoppers picking up on average Santa Rita 15 times across 2023. This impressive boost in frequency has Santa Rita holding 67th places in the rank up a noteworthy 34 places from last year and saw their CRP growth up 28.1% alongside attracting new shoppers into the brands offerings +0.2 percentage points.  

Q: Which brand’s marketing has really stood out for you in the past year and why? 

Some key Irish brands stood out this year and focused on our heritage and culture.  

Firstly, Tayto’s campaign ‘The True Taste of Home’, establishes how the brand is embedded in Irish culture regardless of if you are abroad or in Ireland. Tayto holds the 3rd position in the rankings with a CRP of 26.1 million. 

Dairy Milk also homed in on Irish Culture with their St. Patricks Day campaign. Cadbury’s Dairy Milk holds 4th position and saw CRP growth of 8.4% alongside a strong booze in frequency +7.4%. 

Q: We know that sustainability has become increasingly important for both retailers and brands based on consumer demand for sustainable options. Have you seen greater sustainability measures deliver tangible results for certain brands?  

Brennan’s holds the number one spot for another year running, their CRP is 42.6m which is up 7.4% versus last year. Brennan’s have managed to attract new shoppers into the brands offerings, alongside a significant increase in frequency up 4.7% versus last year.

 Brennan’s merging with Wicklow Wolf to create a ‘Sliced Can’ – this appealed to a larger market and Irish consumers who are mindful of food waste and sustainability!  

 Nescafé introduced sustainable coffee refill pouches for eco-conscious consumers, the brand holds 16th place and jumps up five in the rankings, alongside seeing significant frequency growth +13.7%.  

Q: Are there any other trends that you found notable from this year’s ranking or perhaps any findings that were slightly surprising considering previous results? 

 We continue to see the trend of free from/plant-based products this year. Philadelphia launched three new plant-based flavours of crem cheese. This resulted in the brand jumping 17 places holding 89th position in the rankings.  

Flahavan’s also launched gluten free jumbo oats appealing to gluten intolerant shoppers resulting in the brand jumping two places holding 34th position.  

Read more: Ireland’s top 10 favourite brands: 100 Master Brands at Home



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