The retailer has left its wine range largely untouched

Sainsbury’s has slashed almost 100 beer and cider SKUs from its shelves over recent weeks, exclusive data reveals. 

A swathe of drinks has disappeared from Sainsbury’s shelves since May, to make way for a smaller cohort of roughly 30 new entrants, in what looks to be a major rationalisation of its beer and cider offer [Edge by Ascential 52 w/e 16 July 2019].

Brands to lose SKUs include Bulmers, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Orchard Pig, and Birra Moretti’s spin off Alla Siciliana and Alla Toscana beers.

Budweiser Budvar, meanwhile, has been completely delisted. Budweiser Budvar UK MD Simon George said: “We’re disappointed that the brand has come out of Sainsbury’s especially as the Original 500ml was growing +28%.

“It seems big brewers are flexing their financial muscle and independent brands can be challenged by that environment. Luckily new distribution gains in Tesco and Waitrose have more than offset the disruption in JS.” 

Read more: Growing pains? Craft beer category report 2019

Winners included The Wild Beer Co, Camden Town Brewery, Innis & Gunn and honey beer brand Hiver. Hiver founder Hannah Rhodes said she hoped the listing “will act as a launch-pad for Hiver to become a household name”. 

Confirming the move,  spokesman for Sainsbury’s told The Grocer: “We regularly review our ranges to ensure we offer our customers the best possible quality and value.”

The retailer has also given its spirits and RTDs range a revamp, ditching more than 35 SKUs to make room for a raft of new drinks such as Sipsmith Orange & Cacao Gin, Bacardi Spiced, Greenall’s Blueberry and Whitley Neill Pink Grapefruit.

Indeed, the majority of its new spirits and RTDs were gins, gin liqueurs, or mixers with gin in them – although whiskies such as Whyte & Mackay, Crabbie’s Yardhead and Highland Park’s Dragon Legend single malt did gain some space.  

No major changes appear to have been made to Sainsbury’s’ wine range.

Read more: The age of experimentation? Beer & Cider category report 2019