Tesco slashes range of Heineken products

Tesco has stopped selling a large range of brands and pack sizes from Heineken in a move that could signal friction over Brexit-driven price rises.

Tiger: Heineken brand
Tiger: Heineken brand

A series of brands – Sol, Amstel, Moretti, Tiger and Kingfisher – have been completely removed from sale by the retailer.

Tesco has also cut the majority of pack formats for the brewer’s biggest selling brands: Foster’s; Kronenbourg; Heineken; John Smith’s; Desperados; Strongbow and Bulmers.

Each of these brands now has only one or two products available on the Tesco website – compared to, for example, the six Budweiser and six Stella Artois products available. The latter figure does not include the sub-brands Stella Artois 4% or Stella Artois Cidre.

A Tesco spokesman said the cuts were about ensuring its range "met the needs of customers". But they come after Heineken said in January that it would be increasing its prices for pubs by about 6p a pint to counter an increase in costs it has faced since the collapse in the value of the pound following the Brexit referendum.

If the cuts are the result of disagreement between Tesco and Heineken over prices, it would not be the first such dispute – the supermarket made headlines last October when it temporarily removed a number of Unilever brands from its shelves after the FMCG company tried to insist on a rise in its wholesale prices.

But the move also comes as Tesco continues to give more space over to craft beer – a programme that began in Tesco Express stores and is now being extended to larger stores.

It is now 18 months since Tesco completely stopped selling another of the UK’s best-selling beers, Carlsberg. There is currently a single Carlsberg brand product available on the Tesco website, a four-pack of the standard lager – though the retailer sells a number of other brands made by the Carlsberg company, including several pack formats of San Miguel.

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