Collier’s Powerful Welsh Cheddar has become the first victim of a branded Cheddar category range review by Sainsbury’s.
The retailer this week confirmed that it had stopped stocking Collier’s supplied by Fayrefield Foods with effect from 20 March but would not comment on why it had delisted the brand.
The delisting came to light following an enquiry on Sainsbury’s Facebook page from a user calling themselves Beer Kat. Sainsbury’s Facebook team responded: “Hi Beer Kat, this product has been discontinued. I’ll send a product request to our buyers to stock again.”
A spokeswoman for Collier’s said it hoped the delisting was temporary. However, one industry source claimed its removal was part of a range review that Sainsbury’s had conducted over the past two months with the intention of “tidying up the fixture”.
Other Cheddar brands are also believed to be in the firing line, although their identities had not been confirmed by the time The Grocer went to press.
The review has now fuelled speculation that there could soon be a wider cull of Cheddar brands across the mults.
A number of major Cheddar launches over the past 18 month have increased competition for shelf space. Collier’s was unlikely to be the only cheese to be delisted and other retailers would probably be reviewing the Cheddars they stocked, said one source.
“It’s partly because the retailers don’t want to be clones of each other,” the source said, adding that the retailers felt there were too many mainstream Cheddar brands on shelf.
The multiples typically stocked four mainstream brands but were looking to reduce this to three, he claimed. Cathedral City was “the one true brand” in Cheddars that no retailer felt they could do without.
The Collier’s spokeswoman said: “Collier’s is a growing brand with unrivalled levels of customer loyalty. There are going to be some very disappointed Sainsbury’s customers.”