LONDON, March 22 (Reuters) - Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket, has pulled eight Heineken brands, including Amstel, Sol and Kingfisher beer from its shelves, as part of a move to refine its alcoholic beverages offer, it said on Wednesday.
A spokeswoman for the grocer confirmed media reports that Tesco has for over a month also been stocking fewer pack sizes for 16 other Heineken brands, meaning that in total 24 out of 53 of the Dutch brewer’s brands are affected by the range re-set.
“It’s very much part of the way we review our ranges ... as we’ve done across the rest of the business,” she said, noting that Tesco was keen to avoid duplication and find space for innovation, such as increasingly popular craft beers.
She denied that Tesco’s move was a response to an attempt by Heineken to push through price rises following the depreciation of sterling in the wake of last year’s Brexit vote.
“For us it’s about making sure we have the right offer and range for our customers,” she said.
Heineken was not immediately available for comment.
Last October Tesco had a spat with Unilever, dubbed “Marmitegate”, over who should take the hit from the weaker pound. (Reporting by James Davey and Philip Blenkinsop, editing by David Evans)