Waitrose looks to be gearing up to launch a new Japanese inspired own-brand range.
The supermarket has registered the trademark for ‘Japan Menyu’ and an associated logo, with the Intellectual Property Office.
The registration covers six classes including packaging, sake and sake substitutes, as well as fresh and prepared meat and sushi.
A Waitrose spokeswoman declined to comment further, noting that the supermarket applied for a number of trademarks, not all of which were used.
Waitrose already offers a range of food to go and fresh sushi products in stores, including via its own brand and lines from Taiko, owned by SnowFox Group.
It’s also been working to refurbish its network of around 80 Sushi Daily counters in store, and added the service to Deliveroo as part of a trial in six stores, in January.
The counters, which are currently operated by KellyDeli, offer a selection of sushi dishes to go, made in store.
Any new range would complement Waitrose’s assortment of own labels, including Duchy Organic, Cooks’ Ingredients Range and Levantine Table, a Middle Eastern-inspired range of fresh, packed goods and cooking sauces launched in April 2021.
The grocer signalled it would place growing emphasis on developing products in house after it ended its 12-year partnership with celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal in February.
Over the past few years it has increased its team of in-house product developers and development chefs, who have played an important role in relaunches over recent years, including the supermarket’s No.1 luxury range in September 2019.
It follows plans, exclusively revealed by The Grocer in May, to widen its functional drinks offering with the launch of dedicated bays in 30 stores this year.