Source: Sainsbury’s

The format has launched at Sainsbury’s newly refurbished Witney store

Sainsbury’s has resumed its partnership with recipe kit brand SimplyCook, amid plans to grow its focus on food to go and meal kit products as part of its ongoing store refit, The Grocer understands.

The supermarket initially began stocking a range of SimplyCook meal kits in 2018, however they were pulled by the DTC brand a year later after it secured a nationwide listing with Tesco Express stores.

Last week, Sainsbury’s reopened its newly refurbished superstore in Witney. Among the new formats was a new grab & go bay stocking a selection of fresh meal kits which are prepared in store or presented as preprepared meal kit boxes, under the label ‘SimplyCook with Sainsburys’.

The bays are positioned prominently near the store entrance, with signage promising “inspiring, quick and easy meal kits” that can be prepared in 25 minutes.

The new SimplyCook with Sainsbury’s lineup consists of eight initial products. Recipes include Wild Mushroom Penne and Chicken Tinga Tacos, with boxes on offer at either £7 to serve two or £9.50 to serve four.

Sainsbury’s and SimplyCook – which was acquired by Nestlé in February 2021 and is also stocked in Asda – both declined to comment directly on the partnership, but confirmed a further rollout was in the offering in the new year.

The Grocer understands Witney is currently the only store to stock the concept.

The new-look store represents Sainsbury’s most up-to-date version of how it envisages its future supermarkets. It has been fitted with technology including electronic shelf labels, stock control cameras and an expanded network of Sainsbury’s digital screen service Sainsbury’s Live.

Several new format trials, as reported by The Grocer, have also been added. It includes integrated sections for free-from products, new self-serve bays for charcuterie and Continental cheese, and an expanded offering of Sainsbury’s Kitchen Deli food-to-go own label which first launched in August.

Sainsbury’s has also enhanced its hot food offering and “refreshed” the Sushi Gourmet concession.

“It’s been absolutely fantastic to welcome everyone back to our new-look Witney supermarket today,” said Sainsbury’s Witney store manager Nigel Fossick.

“At Sainsbury’s, we’re passionate about providing ‘good food for all of us’ and it’s with this commitment in mind, along with insightful feedback from our customers, that we’ve made these exciting changes in-store.”