At a time when British consumers worry about the quality of their food, Waitrose has opened a shop at its own farm The Leckford Estate. This way the supermarket chain wants to emphasise its green and healthy image.
Farmer among farmers
The shop is called ‘The Farm Shop, Leckford Estate’ and is rather tiny, with its size of 165 sqm and only a thousand products. The ambitions of Waitrose on the other hand are bigger, after the horsemeat scandal which has made a lot of British consumers think about the quality of their food.
The four big retailers are trying to regain consumer trust, but are in no way holding back in the pricing war. Waitrose on the other hand is “not choosing for price, but for value”. While Tesco always gets a critical look from farmers as the dominant market leader, Waitrose has a reputation of farmer among farmers. It has had its own farm since 1920 and it is known for quality and sustainability.
Waitrose is also part of workers cooperative John Lewis Partnership, which adds to agrarian suppliers not seeing Waitrose as an enemy.
The farm supplies grain for the bread baked for Waitrose and a number of fresh products that are sold in Waitrose supermarkets, such as milk, fruit, apple juice, eggs and Leckford free-range chickens. The supermarkets of Waitrose also sell about 2,500 local products from 600 local suppliers.
The number of local products at Waitrose has grown by a quarter over the past three years and will continue to grow. The Farm Shop also sells products from about sixty local suppliers. The bestselling items in the farm shop will also make its way to the shelves of other Waitrose shops.
The Farm Shop is opened from Monday to Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Next to the shop is also a coffee place with about eighty seats and an outdoor terrace, where visitors can get something to drink or eat.