Subscribe Login

Irish Brands Hold Their Own In Checkout’s Top 100 Brands

By Donna Ahern
Irish Brands Hold Their Own In Checkout’s Top 100 Brands

Irish Brands hold their own in Checkout’s Top 100 Brands, in association with Nielsen

Coca-Cola Named As Ireland’s Biggest Selling Brand For 15th Year In A Row

Ireland’s biggest brands are putting it up to their international counterparts in the latest edition of the Checkout Top 100 Brands, produced by Checkout magazine, the leading magazine for the grocery retail sector in Ireland, in association with Nielsen.

While Coca-Cola continues to lead the Top 100, occupying the number one position for the 15th year in a row, Brennans bread (3rd), Avonmore (4th), and Lucozade (5th) all make the top five, indicating the level of loyalty that consumers have to Ireland’s biggest household names.


Tayto, which has consistently remained in the Top 10 of Checkout’s Top 100 Brands for a number of years and is celebrating 65 years as the Original Irish Crisp, comes in 6th in our rankings this year.

Other Irish brands making headway in this year’s list include Fulfil, which rises eight places this year, from the 49th to 41st position. Although the brand was only launched in 2016, it has performed strongly in the Top 100 since it entered the rankings in 68th place, in 2017, and then it vaulted up to 49th place in 2018. Carroll Meats have also made a big impact on the 2019 rankings, rising seven places, from 55th to 48th place this year.

In addition, three Irish brands are making their debut in Checkout’s Top 100 Brands 2019. VIT-HIT, which enters with a bang, in the 73rd position, has established itself as the number-one brand in the Health/Functional Drinks category.

The independent, 100% Irish-owned brand is distributed in Ireland by Richmond Marketing and will celebrate 20 years in business next year. The brand leads the Functional Drinks category in Europe and has now expanded across the Continent, with retailers like Sainsbury’s, WHSmith, Boots, Carrefour and Delhaize making the brand a true Irish success story.

The second new entry to the Top 100 is Fitzgeralds Family Bakery (formerly Country Kitchens), which claims 90th place, and Stafford’s Bakeries, which enters the Top 100 in 93rd place. Keogh’s Crisps, which was launched in 2011, entered the Top 100 last year, in 96th position, and while it remains in our Top 100 this year, it drops back, to 98th place.


“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,” says Maev Martin, editor, Checkout magazine.

“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. Despite the continuing uncertainty regarding Brexit, the growing supermarket’s own brands sector, legislative changes in relation to packaging, and last year’s sugar tax, Ireland’s best-known and loved brands continue to innovate and thrive.”

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 5,000 brands from over 200 product classes.

Rocketing up the rankings

Similar to 2018, a major trend in 2019 is the number of brands that have rocketed up the rankings from the positions that they held a year ago. Our biggest mover is Cushelle, which climbs a massive 21 places, from the 99th position in 2018 to 78th in 2019.


This performance is made all the more noteworthy by the fact that Cushelle was one of our three new entries to the Top 100 rankings last year.

Entering Checkout’s Top 100 Brands in 2017, Monster placed an impressive 64th. In 2018, it performed an equally impressive feat, vaulting to 38th. In 2019, it sprints up the rankings a further 13 places, to the 25th position.

The brand’s continued success reflects the growth of the Sport/Energy category, which has made a big leap in our category rankings this year, moving from the number-16 position that it held in 2018 to the 12th position in 2019. Hot on Monster’s heels is Cow & Gate, which rises 12 places, from 97th to 85th.

Two brands that have been consistently strong performers in our Top 100 rankings – Pepsi and MiWadi – both score a perfect ten this year, moving from 44th to 34th place and from 56th to 46th place, respectively. Cadbury Twirl has traditionally placed in the seventies in our Top 100 rankings, but this year it also jumps ten places, to the 63rd position.

"Thanks to the healthy labour market and last summer's strong performance - and despite the ongoing Brexit uncertainty, and the dip in consumer confidence this year - it has been another strong year for brands,” says Karen Mooney, Nielsen Ireland Connect Leader.


“The overall picture shows that Irish consumers are still willing to spend on grocery items, with the value sales of the Top 100 brands alone increasing by more than €90 million.

This is the first Top 100 Brands list published since the sugar tax came into effect in May of last year and it is interesting to see that warm weather, along with a surge in sales of low-sugar soft drinks, has meant that Carbonated Soft Drinks has retained its #4 category position, while Sports & Energy drinks has jumped 4 places to 12th position."

Heineken leads the way in the Top 50 Alcohol brands list, for the sixth 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 (Long Alcoholic Drinks) list.

One of the most noteworthy developments in our Top 50 Alcohol list this year is the performance of Gordon’s Dry Gin - after an exceptional eighteen- place jump in 2018, it made another big leap in 2019, moving up 10 places from 21st in 2018 to 11th in 2019.

However, the really big mover in our Top 50 Alcohol listing is Peroni Nastro Azzurro, which rises a meteoric 16 places, from 47th place in 2018, when it entered the rankings, to 31st place in 2019. This makes Peroni Nastro Azzurro the best-performing brand in the 2019 Top 50 list.

Category leaders
Once again, the category with the most brands in the Top 100 listing is Confectionery, with 12 brands featuring in the rankings this year: Cadbury Dairy Milk, Kinder, Lindt, Maltesers, Haribo, Galaxy, Nestlé Kit Kat, Cadbury Twirl, M&M’s, Cadbury Wispa, Cadbury Snack and Nestlé Rowntree.

Next up is Crisps/Snacks/Tubes, with eight brands in the Top 100 – Tayto, Pringles, Hunky Dorys, Walkers, Doritos, O’Donnells, KP and Keogh’s – followed by Bakery, with seven brands in the Top 100 – Brennans, Irish Pride, Pat The Baker, JM O’Brien, McCambridge, Fitzgeralds Family Bakery (formerly Country Kitchens) and Stafford’s Bakeries. Carbonated Soft Drinks has five brands in our Top 100 this year: Coca-Cola, 7UP, Club, Pepsi and Fanta.

“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,” says Martin.

“Perhaps the strongest evidence of Irish consumers’ continued love affair with healthy consumption is the entry of a new category into our Top 100 for 2019.

Health/Functional Drinks joins the rankings in the 86th position, sending a clear message to brands and retailers that modern consumers want more from their beverages - and they regard functional beverages as a way to achieve their health and wellness goals.

“The second new category to enter our Top 100 for 2019 is Frozen Ready Meat Meals, joining the list in the 97th position. This is an interesting new entry, which reflects consumers’ continued desire for convenient as well as healthy options.

It also indicates that meat is still popular with a significant cohort of shoppers, despite health and environmental concerns that have dominated public discourse over the past year.

Birds Eye is the new category leader here, which means that it is the brand leader in three of our Top 100 Categories, as it also claims the top spot in Frozen Prepared Poultry Products and Frozen Potato Products.”

Big Impact

When it comes to Irish brands that have made a big impact in their categories, Brady Family, which ousted Denny from the top spot last year to become category leader in Pre-Packed Sliced Meat, retains its leading position this year.

In the Yogurt, Yogurt Drinks and Fromage Frais category, Glenisk continues its impressive growth and this year overtakes Yoplait to become the top yoghurt brand for 2019.

In Pre-Packed Bacon, Oakpark joins the top five, ousting O’Neill’s from the fifth- place spot that it held in 2018. Another brand entering the top five at five is Innisfree, which displaces Green Isle from fifth place in the Frozen Prepared Poultry Products category.

Flahavan’s also enters the top five at five in the Granola Bars category, removing Eat Natural from the fifth-place position that it occupied in 2018.

Bunalun, a flagship food brand in Ireland’s organic food sector, vaults into the top five in the Frozen Vegetables category, in third place. In the Packed Salads category, there is a reversal of fortune, as Donnelly reclaims the number-two position from Secret Garden, which had pushed it out of the rankings last year. Northern Irish-based Willowbrook enters the top five this year, in fourth place.

Irish company Strong Roots, which leapt into second position in the Frozen Prepared Vegetable Products category in 2018, has dropped down to third place this year, but the company retains its third-place position in Frozen Chips.

The Happy Pear has made a big impression in a number of categories in the past couple of years, and 2018 was no different, as it climbed to second place in the Prepared/Savoury Dips category from the fourth-place position in which it entered the category in 2017. This year, it holds strong, in second place.

Checkout Top 100 Brands 2019*:The Top 10

  1. Coca-Cola
  2. Cadbury Dairy Milk
  3. Brennans
  4. Avonmore
  5. Lucozade
  6. Tayto
  7. Jacob’s
  8. 7UP
  9. Extra
  10. Red Bull

* Produced in association with Nielsen

© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news.  Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.

Stay Connected With Our Weekly Newsletter

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.