• Transform magazine
  • April 16, 2024

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Worth the wait

Waitrose 1.jpg

British-based supermarket chain Waitrose, whose 344 branches are predominantly located in London and the South East, has announced the launch of a new range. It will focus on the superior end of the own-label market.

Named Waitrose 1, it is the first time the supermarket has unveiled a new range since the introduction of its take on a budget line, Essential Waitrose, in 2009. This line alone is worth £1bn.

Waitrose 1 will replace the existing Waitrose premium ranges, which include Seriously from Waitrose, Menu from Waitrose, and from Waitrose. While encompassing many existing products from these previous collections, its inclusion of over 800 new products will also see several new lines added to its repertoire.

Some of the products on sale include Stem Ginger Ice-cream with Mango and Lime Sorbet, and Sloe Gin Cured Ham with Blackberry & Damson Glaze.

Own-label products are becoming an increasingly more viable choice for consumers, indicated through sales of premium ranges, which rose 4.4% in the past quarter.

In a press release, Rupert Thomas, marketing director of Waitrose, says, “Our team of experts have been working with over 70 suppliers for 12 months to pin-point the ingredients and recipes that offer customers uniquely mouth-watering food. Waitrose 1 raises the bar in premium food, giving the assurance to our customers that these products represent the best of the very best.”

In a move fairly unique to luxury ranges, Waitrose has included its store name in the brand redesign. However, Waitrose 1 packaging has been developed to exude a sense of indulgence to its customers. Eschewing the usual pictures of the products themselves, Waitrose has instead opted for artistic illustrations and abstract designs, with a minimalistic yet striking colour palette.

Sketches of boats, animals and intricate buildings convey the sense of escapism its products offer, while creating an identity distinct from other Waitrose ranges, and its competitors.

However, its use of off-black packaging as the leading colour for Waitrose 1 corresponds to the popular colour scheme choices of other supermarkets. Retailers such as Sainsbury’s and Asda use deep purples, greens and blacks to differentiate these products from other, cheaper, options.

The announcement comes two weeks after another major rival, Tesco, launched its own, redesigned value label. With the new Tesco brand focusing on freshness and heritage through the use of farm names, the lack of reference to its store name rivals the brand strategies of European retailers, Aldi and Lidl.