Arla Foods has dropped its premium Lurpak Slow Churned butter - but says it may return as a seasonal line.

Slow Churned, which is sold in a silver-coloured aluminium dish, is slightly salted Danish block butter churned in small batches for more than five hours to allow the taste to develop. Its launch last November was supported with a £500,000 push.

At the time, Arla said it hoped Slow Churned would bring new consumers to the brand and encourage existing shoppers to trade up. But the product has failed to gain year-round traction with shoppers, and has achieved retail sales of less than £370,000 since launch, [IRI 52w/e 16 August 2014].

The supplier this week said it was delisting the product as an all-year round line.

“Lurpak Slow Churned was developed as a premium product to be enjoyed during special occasions and because of this we’re only exploring seasonal opportunities in 2015,” said a spokesman.

The news comes in the week Arla announced UK sales of the overall Lurpak brand had broken the £300m mark [Nielsen 52w/e 16 August 2014].

“We’ll continue to invest in NPD and marketing to keep the brand front of mind and relevant, giving shoppers’ practical reasons to choose Lurpak,” said Arla Foods business unit director Stuart Ibberson.

Slow Churned may have failed to mean anything to consumers, suggested Claire Nuttall of branding agency Thrive. “Other Lurpak ranges clearly connect with an immediate benefit or need state,” she added.