Sainsbury’s pulls plug on own-label alcopops

Sainsbury’s has joined the growing list of retailers and pub chains to steer away from controversial alcopops by deciding to axe its own-label version. But it will continue to sell branded alcopops.

Sainsbury’s originally launched its own-label product under the name Piranha, but changed this to Sainsbury’s Alcoholic Lemon Drink after concerns that the name would make the drink attractive to children (MW December 6 1996).

Its decision to drop the drink completely comes after retailers the Co-op and Iceland and the JD Wetherspoon pub chain removed all alcopops from sale.

However, it is the first supermarket chain to de-list its own-label alcopop. Asda and Safeway, the other major retailers with their own alcopop versions, say they will continue to sell the products.

The supermarket’s decision to pull out of the declining market comes as brewer Scottish Courage renews its faith in Two Dogs, the original alcopop from Australia, which is being re-launched with a 1m advertising campaign through M&C Saatchi.

Scottish Courage, which took over distribution of Two Dogs in the off-trade last April from brand manufacturer Merrydown, is putting its faith in the continued success of the sector, as demonstrated by market leader Bass’ Hooper’s Hooch.

The product has been given a sharper lemon flavour and the bottle and label have been redesigned. Scottish Courage is understood to have delayed the relaunch to allow the Government’s committee on under-age drinking to publish its recommendations.

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