One hundred convenience retailers have identified the top five-selling brands in their stores. Robin Mannering reveals those in poll position.

Against a backdrop of emerging market trends and a turbulent economic climate, identifying the most consistent top-selling brands in the independent convenience sector can prove elusive. Added to this, figures from analysts usually include convenience stores owned by the multiples, thereby muddying the waters.

So C-Store has set out to nail the top-selling brands in the main categories, using data provided by independent convenience retailers. A random selection of 100 owners of independent symbol stores from across the country were questioned by HIM on their top-five selling brands in wine, spirits, beer, cider, tobacco, dairy, breakfast cereals, bagged snacks, biscuits, bread, pet food, confectionery (sugar and chocolate) and soft drinks.

A number of retailers have provided C-Store with some extra feedback to flesh out the statistics, and their comments reflect the results: where some may report anomalies regarding their number-one sellers - and regional variations play a part, such as Tennents’ top performance in one Scottish store - the top brands in each category feature in their top fives.


The percentage of retailers who named Cathedral City as a top-five selling dairy brand, making it the category number one

In these tough times, promotions and pricemarked packs are driving sales, while own brands are also competing with the big brands, retailers say. Ultimately, the brands have held firm, but high sales will be driven by perception of value, the store owners add.

According to the survey results, the most dominant brands are Walkers Crisps and Coca-Cola, with 100% and 99% of respondents respectively putting the brands in their top-five sellers in their categories. In the sugar confectionery category Haribo was the runaway leader with 91% of the vote, followed by Wrigley’s Extra on less than half of the vote (45%).

But some categories had no clear winners, with the top product in dairy, Cathedral City, claiming only 47% of the vote. There are also some emerging brands which are competing with their more established competitors, such as Kopparberg, which took fourth place in the cider category.

Read the full results for yourselves and gain some useful insight into the convenience shopper.