PepsiCo is to ditch its PJ Smoothies brand early next year, The Grocer can exclusively reveal.

The move followed a strategic review of the UK business - part of a £1.3bn three-year overhaul that's expected to see some 3,300 jobs cut worldwide and the closure of six plants.

"Given the current climate, we recognise the importance of focusing on best-selling lines," said a spokeswoman. "We have acted to simplify our manufacturing operations, which will include ceasing production on one of our lines at Boxford, and consequently we will be rationalising our beverage portfolio."

Around 40 jobs at the Boxford plant will be lost, with 30 more to be cut from elsewhere in the business.

"These losses will affect a number of locations, levels and functions," confirmed the spokeswoman. "We will be working with colleagues affected by the decision to help them find new jobs within the company, or help them look for alternative employment."

The company said production of PJs would cease by the end of the year.

"This decision is a responsible approach to managing range and ensuring we focus on best-selling lines including Tropicana Pure Premium Juice, Tropicana Smoothies and Copella," the company said.

Speculation over the future of PJs has been rife since PepsiCo launched a range of smoothies under its Tropicana brand in February. PJs had been repositioned at the cheaper end of the market, leaving Tropicana to take on Innocent - a decision many believe was the nail in the coffin for the brand.

"PJs suffered in the shadow of Tropicana and other PepsiCo brands," said Innocent Drinks commercial director Giles Brook. "It also went down the concentrate route in a category where consumers are looking for quality and freshness and its positioning wasn't always clear."

It has not been a good year for the smoothie sector. Sales dropped 6% to £59m in the 24 weeks to August (TNS) while Nestlé scrapped its Boosted Smoothies in August, just four months after launch.