Little Moons

Source: Little Moons

Little Moons and Huel were two brands understood to have been singled out by Planet Organic buyers as examples

Huel and Little Moons are among a number of high-profile brands to have been delisted by Planet Organic, as part of founder Renée Elliott’s ongoing range review.

After returning to save the business she founded from administration in April 2023, Elliott said the retailer would review its entire range, with a renewed focus on “nutritious foods for better health”.

This would include a cull of brands that were brought in under the previous management regime, that while popular, may not have fitted with Planet Organic’s traditional product standards in regard to “organic and health”.

“These were products that don’t conform to our product standard,” Elliott told The Grocer, confirming the delisting.

“The previous management team were broadening the range in ways that didn’t conform with the original product standard, to which we’ve returned.”

Planet aimed to refresh its catalogue by 20% each year, Elliott said, which is done through a monthly range review calendar. Whether a product is “organic or healthy, ideally both” were major factors Planet would consider when listing products in the future.

In March, the retailer also removed a number of its own-label food-to-go lines from sale, after “issues” with the organic labelling were identified during an audit.

“We’ve returned to our founding principles, values, mission and product standard,” Elliott said.

A spokesman for Little Moons confirmed that as of May 2024 the brand was no longer supplying Planet Organic.

“Planet Organic have been a great partner over the several years we’ve supplied them and we thank them for their support,” the spokesman said. “Despite still being one of their most successful ice cream brands commercially, we understand and respect their strategy to increase the volume of organic products in-store.”

The Grocer understands Planet Organic’s sales have increased by more than 25% over the last couple of months. One supplier source credited the redefined focus on organic and healthy products as one of the reasons for helping to regain customers’ trust and draw them back to the brand. 

“We had a really good relationship with the Planet Organic buying team and delivered strong sales but we were removed from the range as part of a change in strategy, along with a number of other brands, as we are not organic,” said a spokesman for Huel.

“While we do use some, more expensive organic ingredients in our products we have never been completely organic, so this was a change in direction for them rather than based on performance.

“We don’t create a completely organic version of our products because this doesn’t fit in with our mission to provide universally affordable, nutritionally complete food,” the spokesman added. 

In results published earlier this week, Elliott said the business was in “recovery” following its collapse into administration in early 2023. Having been “stabilised”, the management team is targeting a return to profit next year, and is in the process of finalising plans to open its first new stores since the administration.

“There are a whole host of initiatives making a difference – new product standard, team morale, new products, customer experience, training, store improvements and more,” Elliott said.

“We’ve revived the uniqueness and values at the heart of Planet Organic. Sales had dipped during the administration process, but quickly recovered and we’re now beyond pre-administration sales levels,” she added.