Waitrose Dispatch meal kits

Source: Waitrose / Dishpatch

Dishpatch offers ‘restaurant quality’ meals, created by celebrity chefs, for home delivery

Waitrose has acquired premium meal kit delivery service Dishpatch for an undisclosed sum.

The high-end meal kit brand offers “restaurant-quality” recipe kits, created by leading chefs including Rick Stein, Angela Hartnett and Sabrina Ghayour.

While some come as a selection of ingredients, with a standard recipe card, in a similar proposition to that of other meal kit players like Gousto, a key point of difference is that Dishpatch also offers prepared meals. Customers can also order bottles of wine.

Interpath Advisory advised on the transaction.

“Waitrose sees significant opportunities for Dishpatch, which works with some of Britain’s most respected chefs and restaurants,” said Waitrose executive director James Bailey.

“We have shared values in serving our customers the best quality food and we’re looking forward to working together.

“While our immediate focus will be helping Dishpatch grow its core meal kit business, we are also looking forward to working with the team to bring further new and exciting food experiences to Waitrose customers.”

Dishpatch currently offers 40 different menu choices, ranging from £42 to £140. The brand also offers a Supper Club membership scheme, which gives members free delivery on all orders, for £69 a year.

Dishpatch founder and CEO Peter Butler said: “Since launching in 2020, our mission at Dishpatch has always been to bring the most exciting, high-quality restaurant food into more people’s lives.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Waitrose whose reputation has been built on the quality of their food. With such aligned values, we’re excited to bring our meal kits to a wider audience and exploring new opportunities beyond that.”

Butler will remain CEO of the business.

The acquisition marks Waitrose’s first foray into meal kits since it ended a co-branded trial with Mindful Chef in December 2022. The delivery boxes were filled with ingredients from Waitrose’s Cooks Ingredients range alongside a co-branded recipe card.

At the time, Waitrose said it had always intended for the service to be a trial, to give the business insight into delivery box services.

Customer director Nathan Ansell previously told The Grocer that Waitrose would seek to grow its focus on “dine-in” food concepts. In April it also launched an exclusive range of cooking ingredients with chef Yotam Ottolenghi

Owner JLP, which returned to profit in March, has also earmarked £1bn to be invested into Waitrose stores over the next four years