WHSmith 3

Source: WH Smith

The range will launch in an initial 300 WH Smith Travel stores

WH Smith has launched its first own label food-to-go range as part of an overhaul of the travel retailer’s food and drink selection.

The fresh range – called Smiths Family Kitchen – features 34 new products including sandwiches, wraps, burrito boxes and salads.

Despite being known for its network of high street stores, over the last decade WH Smith has built a network of nearly 600 travel stores, which now form the main and most profitable part of its business.

As the number of people returning to the office starts to increase following the Covid pandemic, the company’s in-house product developers had designed to range to cater to “today’s travelling customer”.

The products began rolling into an initial 300 travel stores this week. It’ll cover an array of “different price points” and will be included in the retailer’s £4.99 meal deal.

Providing healthier choices had been another focus of the launch. A Korean BBQ Chicken & Pickled Slaw Wrap and a Salt Beef New Yorker Sandwich are among some of the new products. Vegan and vegetarian options, including a Falafel & Hummus Wrap and a Mexican Naked Burrito Bowl with Sweet Potato & Chipotle Sauce, will also be available.

“We’re on a mission to offer time-pressed customers all their travel essentials under one roof with a fast and convenient shopping experience,” said WH Smith Travel UK MD Andrew Harrison.

“With millions of customers turning to WH Smith each year to fuel their journeys, we’re making our biggest investment in WH Smith’s food offer since we first started offering chilled food and drinks in our Travel stores more than 10 years ago, with the launch of a new and delicious food-to-go range.

“Working with a team of chefs to tailor our range and ensure we’re using the best quality ingredients has been fantastic, and the team has done an excellent job with the look and feel of the new brand – it’s an exciting time for the business. We never sit still and we’re constantly innovating to give our customers even more reasons to shop with WH Smith on their travels,” Harrison added.

WH Smith Group CEO Carl Cowling has focused his turnaround plan on transitioning its customer offer away from books, newspapers and stationery, into a “one-stop shop” for shoppers on the move. It’s seen the company renovate some of its larger-format shops, including at Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham Airport.

It plans to roll the format out further as part of the ongoing turnaround plan, which will include the addition of more food-to-go ranges, WH Smith said.

It’s also seen WH Smith partner with Holland & Barrett, which launched branded fixtures into a small number of WH Smith Travel stores in February 2023.