Unilever axes fruit and soya milk drink

Unilever has axed its soya drink brand AdeZ in the UK just two years after it was launched because the range failed to make an impact with consumers.

The fruit and soya milk smoothie range was the first new brand launch from Unilever for 12 years (MW February 9, 2006) but it is understood that the “super healthy” product failed to convince consumers.

It is understood the brand initially performed well due to “buy one get one free” offers in supermarkets, which were supported by sampling campaigns.

AdeZ was positioned as a convenient way for consumers to get their five portions of fruit and vegetables a day as well as gaining extra vitamins and nutrients from the soya. It was also intended to target the lactose intolerant by excluding dairy products.

Unilever also has a range of “healthy” food products under its Flora Pro.Activ range. In 2005 it launched a fruit and vegetable single-shot drink called Knorr Vie shots.

AdeZ’s launch was one of the first for Unilever, which had focused on disposing of brands under its Path to Growth strategy. The strategy meant the company reducing its brands from 1,700 to fewer than 500. The company moved away from reducing its brands to focusing on advertising and promoting its star brands under chief executive Patrick Cescau, who was appointed in February 2005.

A Unilever spokeswoman says British consumers were not convinced by the benefits of the soya. The brand will continue to be available in Ireland and the Netherlands.

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