Tesco is to delist the entire range of Kingsmill’s sliced loaves as part of its new “volume-driven strategy”.
The retailer will drop Kingsmill’s sliced bread as of next Monday (23 March), but will still continue to stock other Kingsmill products including rolls, thins, wraps, crumpets, muffins, pancakes, and waffles.
The news of the delisting comes just a week after Allied Bakeries, parent company of Kingsmill, announced the departure of longstanding chief executive Mark Fairweather.
Allied said in a statement: “We are continuing to work with Tesco to build our Allinson and Burgen bread, Kingsmill snacks and wider Kingsmill bakery portfolio.”
A Tesco spokesperson said: “We regularly review our ranges to ensure they meet the needs of our customers.”
Kingsmill is Tesco’s third-largest branded bread with a 9.1% market share in Tesco over the past year, according to mysupermarket-insights.co.uk. It follows Warburtons and Hovis with 18.51% and 30.46% respectively.
Supermarket insight specialist and ex-retailer Steven Dresser, of www.groceryinsight.com, said that this consolidation of brands is to be expected in Tesco, as the retailer begins a new “volume-driven strategy”.
He told British Baker: “There are other discontinuations too across the piece - morning goods etc. Kingsmill is only disappearing en masse in plant bread. It will upset some customers of course. Asda trades it hard at 79p.”
The news comes as new chief executive Dave Lewis has embarked on his restructuring programme for Tesco, to get the supermarket back on track after its performance demise in 2014.
In a bid to regrow its presence in the competitive market, Tesco said in January this year that it would close its Cheshunt head office in 2016 to consolidate locations, and restructure central overheads by simplifying store management structures.
The retailer claimed this restructure would deliver savings of around £250m a year, at a one-off cost of £300m.
News of the delisting first appeared on The Grocer, a sister title of British Baker.