Asda delisted I Can't Believe It's Not Butter as part of its Less is More initiative, which sought to cut down product duplication. At the time, chief merchandising officer Darren Blackhurst questioned the logic of stocking it alongside Dairy Crest's similar butter-like brand. "What's the point of stocking both Utterly Butterly and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter? It's only marge!" he said.
The recent relisting, in stores nationwide, was the result of customer feedback, said a spokeswoman for Asda. "Customers recently asked us to relist I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, we listened and have reintroduced it at an unbeatable value."
Asda's climbdown, which saw the brand go back into stores from the end of April, has been welcomed by brand owner Unilever. "We're delighted I Can't Believe It's Not Butter is now back on shopping lists for Asda customers," said the spokeswoman.
Sales of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter are still less than half the size of Utterly Butterly by value. Utterly Butterly's £69.2m market share and a 13.8% increase year-on-year compares with £29.3m and a sales decrease of 1.2% for I Can't Believe It's Not Butter [Nielsen 18 April].
However, Unilever claims it will continue to drive sales of the brand through investing in a TV campaign and running in-store activity.