Pernod Ricard UK is axing the flavoured line extensions it added to its Malibu brand in April last year.
The company said it had been carrying out a strategic review of its enlarged spirits portfolio since the integration of brands from Allied Domecq last year, and it plans to scrap the Mango and Pineapple versions of Malibu in the UK from the end of next month.
Malibu's flavour additions were the Caribbean rum brand's first NPD since Allied bought it from Diageo four years ago. Last year's UK launch was backed by a £2.3m marketing programme and national sampling activity.
The flavours were launched in the US a year earlier and, at the time of the UK launch, Allied claimed they already accounted for 10% of the total Malibu volume sales in the US. But UK consumers were unimpressed with the tropical drinks.
Fiona Bayley, Sainsbury's spirits buyer, said the retailer had been planning to stop selling the flavours even before hearing of Pernod's decision to axe the extensions. "Malibu continues to perform well but the flavours have been very poor," she said.
Head of corporate communications Vanessa Bouganim said Pernod was likely to give Malibu a more premium focus. "We will still be targeting young adults as it is a fun brand. But consumers are likely to see Malibu positioned as more premium in future."
Investment plans for the Malibu parent brand in the UK are set to continue.
Head of marketing Roger Harrison said: "The phenomenal success of Malibu, underpinned by Coconut, is set to continue with a £6m marketing spend planned for 2006, including a TV and PR campaign."
Rival producer Diageo introduced its own coconut rum brand - Parrot Bay - to the UK market after the forced sale of Malibu to Allied in 2002. The drink already had a market presence in the US, with its own mango and pineapple lines, but Allied ensured it was first to the UK market with Malibu flavours.