Sainsbury’s axes own-label line…

Sainsbury’s is believed to be delisting its own-label chewing gum “66” after disappointing sales.

It is understood to be the first time a Sainsbury’s sub-brand has been axed.

Named after Route 66, the American high way immortalised by the eponymous song, the brand was an imported line launched in November last year.

It was sold in spearmint, peppermint, sugar-free and regular versions in single packs at 17p and multipacks of five for 79p.

The brand has not been promoted heavily, although it has appeared in reader offers in national newspapers.

A trade insider says: “The price differential was not sufficient from branded chewing gum to make it attractive.”

In the chewing gum market, worth 150m a year, Wrigley’s dominates other players such as Warner Lambert’s Clorets and Haitai with a market share of 95 per cent.

A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman denied the company planned to withdraw the range.

Sainsbury’s has been working to increase the profile and widen the choice of manufacturers’ branded goods under its new marketing director Kevin McCarten. The trend followed criticism that the company had pushed its own-label products too far and deterred customers (MW January 5).

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