Tesco has axed Choka­blok ice cream - one of its original venture brand launches.

The number of lines in the ice cream range, which made its debut in 2011, has been reduced over the past 18 months, with the final SKUs disappearing from stores and the retailer’s website this month. Of a range of products rolled out under the Chokablok name following the ice cream launch, Tesco is currently selling only the brand’s chocolate bars.

R&R Ice Cream, which had developed Chokablok with Tesco, this week confirmed the ice cream had been delisted. “It has been on the market for some three and a half years, but consumer trends and market dynamics change,” said an R&R spokesman, adding the supplier was working with Tesco on a new ice cream range.

Promotional activity by ice cream brand leaders had made it hard for private label and venture brands to gain traction, suggested Bryan Roberts, insights director at analysts Kantar Retail. “Chokablok social media and its appearances in the Tesco magazine seem to have dropped off in early 2014,” he said.

Chokablok was part of the ‘venture brands’ strategy initiated by Tesco in 2011, which aimed to create exclusive standalone ranges that carried no mention of Tesco on pack and were supported with their own websites and marketing. While some, such as Italian food brand Parioli and Lathams dogfood, are still on the market, others, like feminine hygiene brand Halo, have been dropped.

“After an initially encouraging start, recent withdrawals of assorted exclusive and venture brands suggest Tesco’s vision may have been slightly too ambitious in the face of immensely competitive categories,” said Roberts.

Tesco said it “continually reviewed the range of products we offer in our stores.”