Waitrose has become the first supermarket to stock fresh Thai basil in stores nationwide.

The foodies’ favourite has a similar aroma to standard basil but is stronger, has smaller leaves and an aniseed-like flavour.

Supplier R&G, which supplies all of Waitrose’s fresh cut herbs, has launched the product into Waitrose’s Cooks’ Ingredients range, priced 99p for a 25g pack.

The herb has previously been sold in UK supermarkets in a preserved format and as an ingredient in sauces, but this is the first time fresh, pre-packed Thai basil has been available in UK supermarkets.

“The current orders of Thai basil are incredibly buoyant and are now a significant part of our retail and foodservice offer,” said Dean Fowler, R&G commercial manager. The product was ethically sourced, fully traceable and had LEAF accreditation, he added.

R&G secured supply of the herb from two growers in the Mediterranean after Waitrose approached the company following increased demand for the herb among its consumers.

The basil will also be available through Ocado from 5 July.