Waitrose own brand chocs

The retailer’s own-brand confectionery selection will be relaunched without the use of black plastic.

Waitrose is relaunching its own-brand confectionery and allergen-free ranges in September and October respectively.

Its revamped allergen-free assortment, currently called Love Life, will be renamed Free From and feature 14 new gluten-free and four lactose-free SKUs from 22 October. These include gluten-free sourdough made with teff flour for a rich flavour, as well as other bread items, gluten-free porridge oats with dates and cacao nibs, gluten-free pasta and a lactose-free selection including halloumi, mozzarella, feta and yogurt.

It will be the first of Waitrose’s own-label categories to feature its new ‘& Partners’ branding.

Another key focus of the Free From range’s packaging will be sleek photography of the products as opposed to the block colour design of its current packaging.

“The Love Life packaging was somewhat old fashioned, but the Free From branding is sleek, plus there’s no compromise on taste with these new products which is the most important thing,” said Waitrose free-from buyer Kate Rider. “We’ve also recognised that not everyone who is lactose intolerant is allergic to gluten or wheat, so some of the lines are just free from one of those ingredients.”

She added that Waitrose is 5% of the overall grocery retail market and 10% of the free-from market.

Read more: Waitrose becomes latest retailer to hit the reset button

This comes as Waitrose also relaunches its own-brand confectionery selection without the use of black plastic. The items will instead be packaged in widely recyclable materials, such as cardboard, in line with the retailer’s commitment that all its own-label products will be black plastic-free by the end of 2019.

The recipes of its sweets and chocolates have been revamped too, and Waitrose is using traditional recipes and classic flavours made by family chocolatiers in six countries for them. It has also tapped current trends and included vegan coconut ice and Turkish delight lines, alongside “customer favourites” peppermint creams and chocolate caramels.

Around 50 of the 81 new confectionery lines will launch online and in Waitrose stores from Monday (17 September), with another 30 launching on 3 October. Items are priced from £2.50 for a 40g box to £30 for a 675g assortment.

Waitrose confectionery buyer Elizabeth Sutcliffe said the range is the “biggest confectionery selection” it has ever launched. “We’ve been working with a team of expert chocolatiers to develop a collection of new and unique chocolate recipes and flavours. We are sure our customers, and the friends and family they gift it to, will enjoy these delicious delights,” she told The Grocer. “It was really important for us to make sure we have something for all tastes and budgets, so whether our shoppers wanted to spend £3 or £15, we have a selection of beautifully packaged treats to choose from.”

A spokeswoman for Waitrose told The Grocer that all its fruit, veg, meat and fish products will be out of black plastic by the end of the year.