anchor cheddar tv ad

Arla’s struggling Anchor Cheddar is set to disappear from supermarkets after Asda became the last major retailer to delist the product.

Asda is now selling through its remaining stock of the cheese brand, The Grocer understands. Anchor has been replaced on shelves by Ornua’s Pilgrims Choice, which went on sale last week as part of a new supply deal between Asda and the Irish co-op.

Anchor has been the main victim of a major cull of Cheddar brands in the mults over the past two years, as retailers simplified their offerings with a greater focus on own-label Cheddar alongside a market leader and secondary brand.

Despite spending £6m on an ad push during the summer of 2015, value sales for Anchor Cheddar fell 63% in 2016, from £28m to £10.2m.

This slide saw Anchor fall from the UK’s fourth-biggest Cheddar brand to the eighth-biggest. It also slipped from the ninth biggest UK cheese brand to the 22nd [The Grocer Top Products/Nielsen].

However, Arla would not be killing the brand off completely, a spokesman insisted, and would instead focus on the convenience channel.

“Anchor Cheddar has a role to play for Arla. It performs strongly in convenience, so our strategy is to use the brand to take advantage of future growth and ensure consumers can choose a brand they trust.”

Arla also plans to push its Castello cheese brand, with sales up 18% to £19m last year. “We aim to build on this early success in larger format stores,” he added.

Anchor Cheddar was first launched in 1972 by the New Zealand-owned Anchor butter brand, but was discontinued in 2008 by Arla, which took over the licence to make it in the UK in 2001.

Arla relaunched it in 2013, but the brand failed to break the dominance of market leaders Cathedral City and Pilgrims Choice.