Waitrose reports biggest week of vegan and vegetarian ranges sales outside of Christmas

Total sales excluding fuel at Waitrose & Partners last week (to Saturday January 12) were 3.8% higher than last year.

The supermarket chain’s customer director Martin George said: “Our fresh categories in particular saw strong demand for the week, as many customers stocked up on fresh and healthy food including our new stir fry bags, and our poultry and seafood ranges.

“Our vegan and vegetarian ranges had their biggest week of sales outside of Christmas. Many were looking for fresh convenience, with increased demand for packs of sushi and Good to Go salads.”

During the week, Waitrose & Partners hit its target to remove black plastic packaging from all its own-label fresh meat, poultry, fruit and vegetables. This means the retailer is now more than half-way to achieving its goal to remove black plastic on all its own-brand products by the end of 2019.

The company explained that the majority of black plastic packaging is coloured using carbon black pigments which do not enable the pack to be easily sorted by the systems widely used in plastics recycling. As a result, black plastic packaging can commonly end up as residue and disposed of in landfill.

Tor Harris, Head of CSR, Health & Agriculture for Waitrose & Partners, said: “Eliminating black plastic is a priority for us. While removing it we have also taken the opportunity to reduce the amount of plastic of any colour by removing trays from fruit and veg like apples, broccoli and pak choi.

“We are making progress all the time and are determined to maintain our momentum which is why we’re now looking at ready meals and other products so we can achieve our aim of removing all black plastic from our own-label products by the end of 2019.”

A recent example of packaging innovation to eradicate the use of black plastic includes the retailer’s Duchy organic tomato packaging, which partly uses punnets made from tomato vines that would otherwise have gone to waste with recycled cardboard.


Tomato Leaf and Recycled Paper Waitrose Duchy Tomato punnet

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