Irish Brands Hold Their Own In Checkout’s Top 100 Brands, In Association With Nielsen

By Donna Ahern
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 16th 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 16th year in a row, there have been some significant changes to the other positions in our top five - iconic Irish brand Tayto moves into the top five to claim the third-place spot, having ranked sixth last year, and one of the country’s most popular energy drinks, Lucozade, moves up from fifth to fourth place in the Top 100 rankings.

Checkout Top 100 Brands 2020*: 

The Top 10 


1. Coca-Cola 

2. Cadbury Dairy Milk 

3. Tayto 

4. Lucozade 

5. Brennans 


6. Avonmore 

7. 7UP 

8. Jacobs 

9. Extra 

10. Red Bull 


* Produced in association with Nielsen

A number of brands have delivered impressive performances in the rankings this year. Two brands that recorded 14-place improvements are Fitzgeralds Family Bakery, which leaps from number 90 to number 76, and energy drink Monster, which moves from number 25 to number 11 – just shy of a top-ten position.

There are seven new entries to the Checkout Top 100 Brands ranking for 2020 - Nestlé Aero, Knorr Stock & Gravy Mixes, Zip, Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Kenco Instant Coffee, Birds Eye (Fish), and popular branded mixer range Schweppes.

Shoppers reward Irish brands

One of three new entries to the Top 100 Brands last year, Fitzgeralds Family Bakery leaps from number 90 to number 76. Fitzgeralds Family Bakery also joins the top five brands in the Bakery category for the first time this year.  


Other well-known and respected Irish brands have excelled in this year’s rankings: Carroll’s of Tullamore jumps from number 48 to number 37, Brady Family moves from number 36 to number 28 and also makes it three in a row as category leader in Pre-Packed Sliced Meat, having ousted Denny from the top spot in 2018, and iconic yogurt brand, Glenisk climbs from number 24 to number 15 and continues to impress in the Yogurt, Fromage Frais and Yogurt Drinks category, retaining the number-one spot that it claimed from Yoplait last year.  

Meanwhile, the low-calorie and low-sugar vitamin drink, VIT-HIT continues its short but successful stay in Checkout’s Top 100 Brands: having entered the rankings with a bang last year, landing at a very impressive number 73, it has now moved further up the rankings, by five places, to number 68.

The professionalism and kindness of retailers and their teams since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic is something that is now embedded in the collective psyche of shoppers and is likely to stay with us for many years to come,” says Maev Martin, editor, Checkout.

“It is no surprise, then, that those Irish brands that left no stone unturned to ensure that they were always on our shelves during the current pandemic have excelled in Checkout’s Top 100 Brands 2020, in association with Nielsen. Irish shoppers have responded to the supreme effort put in by the nation’s retailers and FMCG brands over the past six months by remaining loyal and continuing to buy Irish.”  

While Irish brands continue to make their mark on our Top 100 Brands list, they are also making headway among the top five brands in Checkout’s Top 100 CategoriesIn Pre-Packed Bacon, Irish brand Oakpark builds on its progress last year, when it entered the top five at five, moving up this year to rank fourth.

Cork brand Clonakilty is king of the Pre-Packed Sausages category for the fourth year in a row, and it has been a very good year for Irish brand Rosie & Jim, who join the top five brands in the Frozen Prepared Poultry Products category, in fourth place.

The Packed Salads category welcomes newcomer brand McCormack Family Farms. In the Salad Accompaniments category, Ballymaloe leaps into the top five, at number three, while McDonnells enters the Prepared/Savoury Dips category’s top five at five. 

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.

"This year has been a challenging year like no other for Irish retail and brands,” says Karen Mooney, Nielsen Ireland Connect Leader. “The pandemic was a catalyst for major consumer behaviour shifts. With so much uncertainty and health worries, shoppers turned to well-known and trusted brands and, especially, local home-grown Irish brands as they sought greater assurances on the safety, quality and supply chain of their grocery products."

"While many Irish shoppers have faced great economic uncertainty as well, we can see that they are still willing to spend on those trusted products, and the top five brands from this year’s list shows that Irish shoppers were looking for simple treats such as chocolate, crisps, fizzy drinks and bread to get them through," she adds. 

 Most improved

A number of categories significantly improved their rankings in Checkout’s Top 100 Categories for 2020. The biggest jump was made by the Frozen Poultry – Whole/Joint/Cut category, which moved up from number 96 in 2019 to number 82 in 2020 – a rise of no fewer than 14 places.

The Hard-Surface Cleaners category leaps 13 places, from number 67 to number 54 this year.

Liquid Soap is another big mover up the rankings, jumping ten places from number 98 in 2019, to number 88 in 2020.

Other categories that recorded improvements this year include Flour, which rose seven places, from number 88 to number 81, Kitchen Towels, which moved up five places, from number 43 to number 38, and Instant Snacks, which improved its ranking by four places, going from number 84 in 2019 to number 80 in 2020.  

 “All of these categories, apart from Frozen Poultry – Whole/Joint/Cut, feature products that have been in high demand since the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic in March. Hard-Surface Cleaners, Liquid Soap and Kitchen Towels all played and continue to play an important part in the fight against the disease, Instant Snacks provided comfort for Irish consumers during the dark days of lockdown, and Flour was a vital ingredient in the nation’s burgeoning love affair with home baking,” says Maev Martin. 

“We have one comeback category in our Top 100 Categories for 2020 – Powdered Baking Products (a first-time entrant in 2013) – which moves from number 109 to number 99. We could be forgiven for jumping to the obvious conclusion: that this is due to the impact of Covid-19 and consumers’ love affair with baking products during and post-lockdown. While this has undoubtedly had a positive impact on the category’s fortunes, we must remember that all of the rankings in our Top 100 are based on value sales for the 12 months to 26 April 2020, so it is likely that the full impact of Covid-19 on Ireland’s grocery retail sector will only become apparent in the Checkout Top 100 Brands report for 2021.”

 © 2020 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Maev Martin. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.

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