The company behind the premium Mey Selections brand has ditched the name in Sainsbury's after posting losses of nearly £200,000 last year.

North Highland Products, which supplies beef and lamb for co-branded ready meals and products sold over the counter, has scrapped the Mey logo in favour of a new 'North Highland' logo.

The retailer's shoppers had not bought into the castle of Mey brand, admitted North Highland Products general manager, Rob McKinnon.

"They felt the region produced premium livestock, but didn't connect the name 'Mey' with the region, because they hadn't heard of the castle, or didn't associate the brand with the castle," he said.

Consumers would identify more easily with the new brand as the provenance of the meat was more obvious, said a Sainsbury's spokesman.

"We're also focused on ensuring that people who have come to trust the Mey Selections brand understand that, while the name has changed, the meat remains the same."

The Mey Selections brand would live on elsewhere, said McKinnon, adding that there was scope to turn it into a ­more regional, premium brand aimed specifically at independents and food service outlets.

Accounts filed at Companies House at the end of September show North Highland lost £187,290 in 2009 £22,424 more than the loss it posted in 2008.

However, unaudited accounts for the first six months of this year showed the company had made a £30,489 profit as a result of implementing operational changes in the business, said McKinnon.

The company has dropped its preserves and chutneys after shoppers failed to buy into the premium offers, and has switched from a 'trading model' for livestock to a lower-risk royalties-based model.

Mey had not ­brokered a 'rescue' deal with a supermarket, insisted McKinnon, alluding to Duchy's deal with Waitrose last year.