Asda has delisted two Fairtrade instant coffee brands due to poor sales.

The retailer said it would replace Cafédirect and Clipper with three new Extra Special own-label variants, one of which is Fairtrade and two certified by the Rainforest Alliance.

Sales of both Cafédirect and Clipper were poor in 2009 at Asda, according to Kantar Worldpanel data. Value sales of Cafédirect instant dipped 11.5% at Asda in the year to 6 September 2009, while Clipper saw sales plummet by 64.7%. That took Clipper's instant coffee market share to just 0.2% at Asda, while Cafédirect's share was 0.7%.

But Asda is continuing to sell Percol instant coffee, which saw sales rise 16.8% in the same period.

One coffee supplier said smaller brands were struggling because the instant coffee market was dominated by Nescafé, which invested £43m in the 'Coffee at its Brightest' campaign launched last year and has a 50% share of the market.

"It is a difficult time for Fairtrade as big brands are in your face and it is so marketing-driven," he said. "The instant coffee market is not price-driven it is about brand awareness."

Asda insisted it was still committed to Fairtrade coffee: "Fairtrade is hugely important for us especially within coffee, where there are strong sales in roast and ground."

Cafédirect's Jon Marlow said: "We continue to work in partnership with Asda to improve its ethical positioning and reinforce its sustainability agenda."