Waitrose sees success for unpacked food

Waitrose has seen sales of refillables at its four Waitrose Unpacked shops outselling their packaged equivalents by 68 per cent.

Some goods are doing better than others, but at its Botley Road shop, where the concept launched in June, refillable essential Waitrose long grain rice is outselling its packaged version 78 per cent, as are refillable porridge oats.

The retailer is testing a number of products sold out of their packaging, including pasta, lentils, cereals, frozen fruit, coffee, wine and beer.

In addition to Botley Road in Oxford, Waitrose Unpacked shops have now been introduced in Cheltenham, Wallingford and Abingdon. The shops all have a dedicated refillable zone which includes dispensers for dried products, frozen ‘pick and mix’, coffee, wine and beer refills, as well as detergent and washing up liquid refillables.

In a separate initiative, Waitrose & Partners has increased orders of its loose vegetables at Christmas by 75 pe cent this year compared to last following significant sales growth as sales of their packaged equivalents have decreased.

Waitrose & Partners, fresh produce buyer, Paul Bidwell, said: “For the last 20 years the convenience of packaged produce has seen it outsell loose, but as consumers have become increasingly environmentally conscious and wanting to buy only what they need, we could be returning to how people used to shop with loose produce making a big comeback.”

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