The notoriously competitive Cheddar market has claimed a new casualty, with Adams Foods abandoning its Kerrygold brand cheese in the UK to focus on butters and spreads.

The company said it was withdrawing Kerrygold Mature Irish Cheddar and Kerrygold Extra Mature Irish Cheddar from the mults, less than eight months after the SKUs launched in the UK. The mature variant was removed from Asda on 6 October and from Tesco on 10 October, with the extra-mature variant coming out of Tesco the same day [].

Kerrygold-branded Cheddar will continue to be available in Ireland and other global markets.

Adams Foods told The Grocer it had decided to pull Kerrygold Cheddar from the UK because the product had generated “lower than anticipated sales in a challenging and heavily-promoted category”. Instead, the company would focus its UK cheese business on its Pilgrims Choice brand and Mu, the brand launched exclusively for Tesco last month, a spokeswoman said. 

Kerrygold Cheddar’s demise in the UK is the latest blow in a tough year for Adams Foods, in which the company has sought to find a niche in the fiercely competitive UK Cheddar and BSM categories. Kerrygold Honey Spread, launched in April and a key piece of NPD for Adams, was delisted by Tesco last month. Adams admitted that, although the product remained on limited distribution with Asda, The Co-operative Group and Nisa, sales had been disappointing. “Despite being genuinely innovative and satisfying consumer need, sales were lower than anticipated,” a spokeswoman said. In August, rising butter prices prompted Adams to stop selling its Kerrygold Softer Butter in UK mults.

However, Mu was a major contract win for Adams, with six formats launched into Tesco stores last month. The cheese is currently available in mild, medium, mature and lighter mature block formats, as well as mature grated and mature sliced variants.