The return of Fruit Shoot will be slower than expected as Britvic has not yet started bottling all the varieties it made before July’s major product recall, The Grocer has learned.

Britvic launched a multimillion-pound marketing offensive on Monday, with “We’re back!” ads splashed in the national and consumer press.

But a week after returning, Britvic has regained just 41% of the listings it held on 2 July, the day before it issued the product recall.

Before the recall, which is understood to have sparked this week’s merger talks (see below), there were 63 listings for its Fruit Shoot and Hydro brands across the big four and Waitrose. On 5 September, there were 26 [].

One supermarket buyer told The Grocer they were unable to stock all the products they previously listed because of Britvic’s manufacturing constraints.

A Britvic spokeswoman said it had been focused on selling the top two flavours - orange low sugar and apple & blackcurrant low sugar - across all channels.

“Our re-supply for Fruit Shoot is underway and we are happy with the progress. There will be a gradual increase of re-supply, to enable us to meet historic levels of demand,” the spokeswoman said.

Rival brands have gained listings after Fruit Shoot was cleared from the nation’s shelves when a six-year-old boy choked on a new sportscap that had come off in his mouth.

GSK’s Ribena picked up six listings for its multipack formats at Asda, while Coca-Cola Enterprises’ Capri Sun won three across Tesco and Asda.

An Asda spokeswoman said six Fruit Shoot SKUs returned to its stores on Wednesday and that it planned to complete the rollout of all further SKUs by the end of October.