Production of the Heinz branded sandwich range was halted just six months after its October launch and the company is still “reviewing its options” about the range’s future following a breakdown with the manufacturer, thegrocer.co.uk can reveal.
The 19-strong range of sandwiches, rolls and wraps, which had a key selling point of having the iconic Heinz sauces among the ingredients, was launched in October last year but ceased production in March when the manufacturer, Freshway Foods – now Freshway Chilled Foods – went into administration.
Although Freshway was bought by own-label supplier Parkam Food Group the day it collapsed, production has not yet restarted.
A Heinz spokesman told The Grocer this week that the company was still “reviewing its options” about the sandwiches’ future, despite original sales being “in line with expectations”.
Freshway said it wanted to continue supplying the range but “several limiting factors” meant it was unable to.
“Renewed negotiations with Heinz failed to achieve sufficient flexibility in royalty arrangements to support the ongoing development of the range,” said Freshway director Jim Sephton.
He added that the range’s only retail customer was concerned the price premium was “prohibitive in the economic downturn” and was not prepared to commit long-term.
“This made new licensing discussions with Heinz difficult,” he admitted.
Pitched as an “everyday good food” range, the products were priced from £2.35 for a tuna & sweetcorn sandwich to £2.75 for a cheese & bean wrap. The sauces used in the products, such as Heinz Salad Cream and Heinz Tomato Ketchup, were highlighted on-pack to give the range instant brand recognition.