Retailers’ ire over Ribena and Lucozade shortcomings

GlaxoSmithKline is meeting disgruntled retailers who complain that insufficient production of Ribena and Lucozade has caused a loss in revenue for two summers.

The retailers are warning GSK that its issue with production and capacity must be sorted out by next summer.

GSK was forced to de-list Ribena Berry Burst to make room for core products in the range that sell more volume. But the company denies a problem exists and is boasting of a record summer in 2006.

Industry insiders say that there was limited availability of 500ml Lucozade and Ribena this summer but that GSK had promised them it would solve production problems after similar failings in 2005.

One buyer says/ “GSK had issues keeping up with distribution and production for the faster-selling lines like Ribena and Ribena Light in the 500ml with sports cap and Lucozade Sport. GSK fell over big time this summer, same as it did last summer when it promised us it would improve.”

Another source adds: “We’re meeting with GSK soon because we can’t go on losing money. When demand rises because its products are on promotion, GSK can’t cope. It’s only when the promotion ends that GSK is able to deliver all the promotion packs it promises, but then we’re stuck selling promotion packs when we should be selling at full price.”

A GSK spokeswoman says: “This summer, Lucozade Sport sales increased by more than 35% year on year and Ribena 500ml by 20% year on year. GSK has already committed to further investment in increasing manufacturing capacity for next season.”

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