Can you guess what the top bought Irish groceries of 2020 were?


Locally produced treats, home comforts and familiarity were almost universally popular amongst Irish consumers throughout 2020 according to a major piece of research published today (Monday) by Ireland’s leading retail authority, ShelfLife. This is hardly surprisong, given the year we've had. As our fashion consumer habits turn to retro pieces for childhood nostalgia, our grocery consumer habits have also opted for comfort and familiarity as 2020's study shows.

In its annual list of 100 Master Brands at Home compiled in conjunction with retail analysts Kantar, the research highlights a dramatic surge in the popularity of cleaning and baking over the course of a year of Covid-19 lockdowns, as we all scrubbed and banana-breaded our way through an international crisis. Irish breakfasts, crisp sandwiches, glasses of milk and chunks of chocolate proved to be the enduring staples that people in Ireland have been relying on over the last year, the research suggests! Wouldn't be like us, lads.

Cooked Food On A Plate

Topping the list of brands and proving that the best thing since sliced bread is in fact sliced bread, is Brennans. It pipped Avonmore to the top spot while Denny finished in the bronze medal position.

Since the early days of the pandemic, shoppers have stayed closer to home for their supermarket trips and have made a greater effort to support Irish brands, the research indicates. Kantar noted a discernible desire among shoppers to buy local, with the data making it clear that Irish-made products and brands have tended to grow faster than their imported counterparts over recent months. Tayto, Brennan’s, Avonmore and Denny all performed particularly well over the course of the year and secured their position in the 10 most chosen Master Brands at Home.

Products | Brennans Bread

Reflecting the national obsession with cleaning as the scale of the Coronavirus crisis became apparent in the Spring of 2020, hygiene products proved to be hugely popular with the biggest mover in the 100 most chosen brands being Dettol, which jumped 49 places year-on-year. The other obsession which gripped the nation was baking, with Odlums improving its chart position by close to 30 places between October 2019 and October 2020.

Two Green and White Dettol Plastic Bottles

The 10 most chosen Master Brands at Home in 2020 is as follows:

  1. Brennans
  2. Avonmore
  3. Denny
  4. Cadbury Dairy Milk
  5. Tayto
  6. Jacobs
  7. Knorr
  8. Coca-Cola
  9. Heinz
  10. Irish Pride

Gillian Hamill, Editor of ShelfLife, comments, “2020 was a highly unusual year with Covid having an impact on all of our lives, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that many consumers gravitated towards trusted brands and comfort foods when doing their grocery shopping week on week, month after month. While the 10 most chosen brands are popular year in, year out, it’s interesting to note the shift in scores, for instance Tayto moved up three places on the previous year. Brands like Odlums, Doritos and Magnum also performed incredibly well, with Magnum jumping 31 places, showing that Irish consumers are even bigger ice-cream lovers in a pandemic.”

Products: Bars and Tubs | Magnum

David Berry, Managing Director of Kantar Ireland, says, “For grocery retailers, a positive is that even when our financial circumstances change, we are not likely to consume less, and other areas are likely to take the hit of household budgets being tightened. Home comforts was a notable theme coming through in the 2020 data, as was shoppers' ongoing preference for supporting Irish brands. During peak pandemic times we saw shoppers spending an additional €1.9m on take-home savouries. Shoppers are turning to the supermarkets for those little luxuries, with take-home confectionery and savouries growing strongly over the year.”

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