Sainsbury’s axes ‘failed’ Two Dogs

Two Dogs, the world’s first alcoholic lemonade, is being dubbed a failure in the UK as leading supermarkets ditch the brand in a move which could signal significant changes in the alcopops market.

The brand has become the first casualty of the burgeoning alcopops sector, which has sparked great controversy since its launch last summer, and now has UK sales worth about 250m.

Sainsbury’s is delisting Two Dogs, and a spokeswoman says: “It is being phased out because it’s been unsuccessful.”

One industry source says other supermarket chains could follow suit while another drew parallels with the market for alcopops in Australia, where Two Dogs was created. There the alcopops sector grew rapidly but then went into rapid decline.

Two Dogs’ distributor Merrydown declines to comment. But managing director Paul Milman says: “We are very happy with the way it is going. Between them, Two Dogs and Hooper’s Hooch will hold about 90 per cent of the sector.”

However, one supermarket buyer says: “Two Dogs is finished. It hasn’t worked against Hooper’s Hooch, and the alcopops fixture is getting increasingly confusing.”

Bass’ Hooper’s Hooch launched the UK alcopops sector in July, and now claims to take 70 per cent of the market by value. Two Dogs was launched in the UK shortly afterwards.

Merrydown has pinned its hopes on the success of the Australian brand after its cider business went into decline.

Separately, some supermarkets are refusing to stock Carlsberg-Tetley’s Thickhead because of con-troversy surrounding the brand.

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