MADRID: Major brand owners such as Nestlé and Puleva are benefitting from a strong connection with Spanish shoppers, boosting sales at a time when the FMCG sector is in decline.

Kantar Worldpanel, the research firm, reported that Spain's 30 biggest consumer brands recorded 2.1% growth over the last year, reaching €5.4bn ($7.4bn; £4.6bn) in combined revenue.

This could be measured against a 2.5% contraction across the FMCG category as a whole.

Similarly, while the entire segment has posted a drop nearing 3% during 2010 thus far, the largest 30 brands enjoyed a 2.1% expansion.

One contributor to this trend was "differentiation", as buyers typically paid 90% more for these goods than the norm, although 15% recognised their behaviour was essentially habitual.

Around 80% of households bought Coca-Cola, with Nestlé and Casa Tarradellas both registering a penetration level of 60%.

Dodot, which makes baby products, attracts expenditure of €120 per year, beating €62 for Puleva's dairy and baby range, and Coca-Cola's €53.

Elsewhere, the study argued that 64% of Spanish consumers purchase eco-friendly goods, but only 43% will pay a premium for these items.

Some 71% of people also expressed a greater interest in health and wellness products, while 2.5m now use e-commerce platforms, a 35% uptick on 2008.

Looking ahead, Kantar Worldpanel predicted that by 2025 there would be more homes in the country, but the average residence should be smaller.

By this date, there will be higher numbers of people who live alone and an increasing proportion over 80 years old.

New brands and retail formats are likely to be developed in the wake of these demographic changes.

Data sourced from Europa Press; additional content by Warc staff