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How Waitrose bagged Britain's POSHEST shoppers

by Rosella Roberts (2020-04-12)

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How did a grocer's store in Acton, west London, grow into a shopping phenomenon - a place where you can buy wild boar for your dog and Heston Blumenthal's chocolate Scotch eggs? 

New Channel 5 documentary Inside Waitrose reveals that friends in high places helped.

The show examines the store's royal connections, from Queen Mary's passion for honey soap which earned it a royal warrant in 1928 to the deal in 2009 that saw Prince Charles's Duchy Originals range sold exclusively there. 

Waitrose (pictured) started as a grocer's store in Acton, west London, grow into a shopping phenomenon

We see the Duchess of Cambridge pushing a trolley in Norfolk and Prince Harry scanning his goods in the Kensington branch.

But it's not just a long association with the royals that makes Waitrose, founded in 1904, a cut above the rest. 





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A long-established reputation for the finest food and drink, says the show's director 전자제품 Elliot Kew, attracts the elite shoppers.

‘To define a typical Waitrose customer, you'd say they were more discerning than average, with a little more to spend,' says Elliot.

Wild boar with superfoods for dogs sold in Waitrose

‘That's why they're probably more willing to explore new products.'

Waitrose certainly caters for customers like this. Its tie-in with Heston Blumenthal has meant healthy sales of items such as salmon smoked in Lapsang Souchong tea and his chocolate Scotch egg. 

Food historian Angela Clutton tries both in the show. The salmon does well, but of the scotch egg she says, ‘Nothing about it appeals to me.'

Other products looked at include wild boar dog food and passion flower and green tea ironing water. ‘Maybe not the kind of items you'd find in Lidl,' says Elliot.

Standing out from the crowd usually works for Waitrose, but occasionally it hasn't. 

Heston Blumenthal has meant healthy sales of items including his chocolate scotch egg 

Including flageolet beans and a limoncello dessert in its Essentials range raised eyebrows - but not as many as an article in the store's in-house magazine in 2018.

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