Waitrose has become the first national supermarket chain in the UK to offer sushi which is freshly made in-store.
The grocery multiple has launched sushi counters in co-operation with Sushi Daily, the European market leader in sushi bars and counters.
The first Sushi Daily counter opened at Waitrose’s new Battersea shop on November 19, followed by a second in Bath on November 24. Godalming is next on the list, with the intention to roll out to up to 50 branches across the country.
The Sushi Daily counters are headed by a team of skilled sushi artisans, who prepare fresh products in front of customers throughout the day. The product offer consists of a wide range of hand-made and sustainably sourced sushi and maki. A dedicated phone line is also available for those looking to make larger ‘platter’ orders, catering for meetings and parties.
The counters one of many new features which Waitrose is introducing in its shops, including juice and smoothie bars, wine bars, tapas areas and eat-in bakeries. Anthony Wysome, head of store development at Waitrose, said: “Our customers’ lifestyles are changing with the growth of eating on the move – and we are responding to this shift with our continuously developing food-to-go offering, including the new sushi feature.
“Customers are increasingly attracted by products that can deliver for them on quality, convenience and health and sushi does this brilliantly. Having seen great growth in our pre-packed sushi offer, we’re excited to be able to now add in-store prepared sushi to our rapidly increasing range of hospitality offers. Whether for lunch or for later, we hope that customers enjoy both the outstanding quality of this new offer and the convenience, colour and interest it will bring to our shops.”
Growing in popularity in the UK, the Japanese dish is already a favourite with Waitrose customers. Recent data on pre-packed sushi shows that Waitrose has a grocery multiples’ market share of 18.1%, with year-on-year growth of 13%.
Waitrose operates 340 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 61 convenience branches, and 28 shops at Welcome Break locations. Waitrose also exports its products to 50 countries and has seven shops in the Middle East.