Procter & Gamble has hit supply shortages of Mini Pringles - described as one of the biggest launches in snacking in a decade - just a month after their launch, The Grocer has learned.
Retailers were this week told in an e-mail from P&G that two lines, salt & vinegar five-pack and 10-pack original, are being discontinued until further notice so the company can focus on higher-demand variants.
“Demand is now higher than current production capacity and is expected to remain so for the near future,” it warned.
Retailers say that P&G is struggling to meet orders and has warned that the shortages of stocks are likely to get worse.
It’s a shaky debut for Mini Pringles, which P&G is backing
as part of a £2m marketing campaign, and raises questions about supply chain problems at the business, which is aiming to double sales by 2010.
One retailer said: “We tried to place an order and were told it couldn’t be delivered. The product hasn’t been performing terribly well here, but in any case we are already being told that stock is running out.”
Nisaway category controller Peter Hindmarsh said that Mini Pringles had been “flying out” of stores, and it was a shame P&G was unable to meet demand. “It’s disappointing that there are not sufficient stocks to meet everybody’s requirements, but having said that, our sales are far ahead of forecasts.”
Mini Pringles were originally scheduled to launch in the spring, but that was delayed until September 12.
Procter & Gamble confirmed that it had temporarily dropped two variants, but said it was introducing measures to increase capacity.
A spokesman said: “We are extremely pleased about the massive response to Mini Pringles since their launch. They have been so popular that we have had to review our production lines in order to meet the demand.”
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Wallace is partial to the odd cup of PG Tips in the latest TV campaign. Going live tomorrow (October 9) to coincide with the release of Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, the £3.5m campaign runs for three weeks. An on-pack competition invites consumers to invent ways of making tea more enjoyable.
Claire Hu