Wonka chocolate bars haven’t been a golden ticket for Nestlé - the fmcg giant is dropping the range after less than a year back on shelf.

Production of the five-strong range is ending this summer, confirmed the supplier this week, although it said products would remain available for much of 2014.

The range was supported by a £3.6m push when it was resurrected last August, including TV ads. Retail sales have exceeded £16m, according to IRI data [52 w/e 24 May 2014], but after a strong first quarter, with the brand selling around £3m a month, sales levelled off at around £1m.

Wonka bars - available in impulse bars in two flavours, and three 100g blocks - are being heavily discounted by many retailers. Morrisons, Tesco and Ocado are selling 100g blocks at 50p each, less than half the £1.29 rsp, while they are still full price in Asda [BrandView.com], and Sainsbury’s stopped selling them four months ago. Meanwhile, shoppers are reporting packs of eight impulse Wonka bars (rsp: 60p) selling for £1 in single-price stores.

At the relaunch, Nestlé insiders said it was looking to build a sustainable brand although Nestlé UK & Ireland CEO Fiona Kendrick last month said Wonka was “a brand that comes and goes”.

Nestlé echoed her comments in a statement this week.”Consumers love novelty and innovation in confectionery and this sits perfectly for a brand such as Wonka,” it said. “Novelty is by its nature often short-term and Nestlé has reintroduced the Wonka brand a number of times in the UK & Ireland over the years.”