Sales excluding fuel at Waitrose & Partners for last week (to Saturday September 28) were down 0.2% compared with the same week last year.
The supermarket chain’s commercial director Rupert Thomas said: “The cooler weather and scattered showers prompted shoppers to pick up warming comfort foods, with our Ready to Cook options, prepared meals, pizza and pasta doing particularly well. Our customers were also choosing warming drinks, with sales of tea and coffee up 13%.
“Last week we launched our new Waitrose & Partners No.1 range, which will see over 200 new and improved products hitting our shelves. The range has been developed with specialist suppliers to ensure that the finest ingredients are used – with a focus on taste – to allow customers to enjoy premium quality food at home. For the first time, the range will also include a variety of wines, ciders and spirits and a top tier range of horticulture.”
Billed as the retailer’s biggest product launch this year, No.1 is an update to the Waitrose & Partners’ premium range, No.1. It is aimed at ‘those looking to add some restaurant flair to their home-cooked meals’, with over 150 brand new products and a further 80 being updated and improved. The total range will feature over 740 products across all categories with a focus on restaurant quality ingredients and flavours such as truffle, ‘Nduja and burrata.
New categories to the No.1 range include Flowers and Beers and Wines & Spirits featuring products from premium suppliers such as exclusive orchids and Premier Cru Burgundy.
Natalie Mitchell, Head of Product Innovation & Own Brand at Waitrose & Partners, commented: “Our No.1 range is the perfect way to showcase the most interesting and top quality flavours and ingredients we have to offer. By taking traditional ingredients and recipes and elevating them to be the best they can be, we want our customers to feel like chefs in their own home with this exciting range of products.”