Waitrose coffee

Unpleasant surprises

Sir, In the past Waitrose cardholders could get a free hot drink in store whether they shopped or not. Now, thanks to a ‘refinement’ of policy, they will have to buy their goods first. This policy was clearly originally designed to create loyalty and drive sales. Except that customers learnt to expect it and are now disappointed.

Science shows us we don’t like surprises! Any mismatch of expectations and reality triggers a tripping point, a physiological and neurological alarm we experience as stress. Any amendment or withdrawal of an offering is risky in grocery. If you change something for the better, you’ve got to stick with it or you may regret introducing it.

Tim Routledge, chief experience officer, Experience Insight

Ghost of leapingsalmon

Sir, I wish HelloFresh well in bricks & mortar but am sceptical (‘Can HelloFresh make mass market recipe boxes work?’, 1 April, p12).The early pioneers of the kit, leapingsalmon.com, around 2000-2004, were brilliant until they were bought out by Thresher and became just a brand of ready meals to sell in an off-licence. That said, after a few (quite expensive - £15-£20 per kit for two) goes, the novelty wore off. It still did not feel like real cooking and was the price of a decent takeaway, or more than double a good ready meal.

Glen Duncanson, via thegrocer.co.uk

Aldi logo is overcooked

Sir, In response to Tom Probert’s letter (‘Aldi bucks rebrand trend,’ 18 March, p27), I disagree with Tom’s flattery of the rebranded Aldi logo. It has bucked the trend, but it’s the worse for it. It’s too shiny and overcooked. The rebrand overlooks Aldi’s cost-savvy modern day shoppers, mistaking them for zombies who don’t care.

Tony Lock, MD, Sherlock Studio

Free-from matters

Sir, Thumbs up to the foodie agitators at Food Matters for their pivotal role in championing free-from and supporting the creation of a dynamic £1bn food category. Yes, the free-from story began with lactose and gluten intolerance, but the wider message is a thoughtful return to basics, stripping back recipes to what made them so special in the first place.

Roger Harrison, general manager, Coldpress