Tesco is delisting Kingsmill bread from its stores and online from next Monday (23 March).
The news comes just two weeks after Kingsmill owner Allied Bakeries announced chief executive Mark Fairweather was stepping down.
The Tesco delisting is a further blow to a brand that has been hit particularly hard by ongoing pressures on the wrapped bread market – with overall Kingsmill sales down 11.1% year-on-year in 2014 to £371m [Nielsen 52w/e 4 January 2015]. Allied this afternoon (16 March) said its was “disappointed” by Tesco’s decision, and that it hoped to return to the retailer’s stores in future.
Allied will continue to supply Tesco with own-label lines, Allinson and Burgen bread, and Kingsmill products including rolls, thins, wraps, crumpets, muffins, pancakes, waffles, and potato scones in Scotland.
“We are continuing to work with Tesco to build our Allinson and Burgen bread, Kingsmill snacks and wider Kingsmill bakery portfolio,” Allied said in a statement.
Tesco said it ”regularly reviewed our ranges to ensure they meet the needs of our customers”.
Allied is seeking a replacement for Fairweather, with Sarah Arrowsmith, chief executive of UK Grocery for the business, to head the bakery division in the interim.
Allied has just completed a £210m UK-wide production and infrastructure investment it is bakery business, and at the time of Fairweather’s departure, Arrowsmith said this investment had left the business “well placed to meet the demands of the UK bakery market”.
Allied Bakeries products continue to be stocked by retailers including Asda, Sainsbury’s, The Co-op Group, Iceland, and Waitrose.