Sales of the Waitrose Essentials range have topped £100m in the three months since the budget range’s launch.

The Essentials range, which currently comprises 800 lines in white packaging, will number 1,400 by October. Sales account for 13% of overall Waitrose sales, well ahead of targets for the full 1,400 lines to make up 15% of sales by October.

Year-on-year sales of the repackaged and re-priced lines are up 17%, according to the Financial Times.

"We are building sales momentum and a lot of that is down to Essentials,” said commercial director Richard Hodgson.  "Yes, there was a lot of scepticism when we launched the range, from competitors and from our customers. But we have proved them wrong."

Waitrose said the Essentials range had also increased the number of items consumers purchase. Before the range’s launch, this had fallen by an average of one item per shop. It is now up by two items.

However, the premium retailer conceded the range’s success could cause the cost of the price reductions to exceed the planned £25m.