own label

Source: Waitrose

Waitrose used insights from AI tools and social media trends to curate the range

Waitrose has launched a new “summer-inspired” seasonal own-label range.

The new 65-strong lineup has been curated using insights from AI tools, social media trends and customer data. It includes 39 brand new products, as well as a selection of improved lines from Waitrose’s existing own labels including Duchy Organic.

Leaning into what Waitrose said was a growing trend for American-style meals, the new lineup features a heavy offering of US-inspired dishes. It includes Waitrose Smokin’ Hot Honey Pork Belly Slices (£4.25 for six), Waitrose American Style Pork Melt Burgers (£4.25 for two), as well as a Mac n Cheese Quiche and a Waitrose Tex Mex Creamed Corn Dip, among others.

“Best of British with a Twist and “Borrowed Nostalgia” – which seeks to recreate flavour from Brits’ favourite holidays – are two of the other themes covered by the new dishes. It includes Nduja & Mozzarella Calzones (£3.50), a Caprese Inspired Aperitivo Platter (£10) and Waitrose Aleppo Chilli & Lemon Domat Olives (£3.75).

Waitrose Cumberland Picnic Eggs and Cheddar, Courgette and Pea Crustless Quiche are also in the offer, alongside a reformulated selection of Snacking Sausage rolls.

“Creating delicious food which is ‘good for right now’ has been at the heart of our summer range,” said Waitrose product innovation & executive chef Martyn Lee.

“We know our customers are embracing the spirit of spontaneity when it comes to the summer months. They want less prep and to have the best food, at the right moment.

“Our summer range has been carefully curated based on AI food and drink trends and what we’re seeing in restaurants, food pop-ups, travels abroad and social media. We’ve focused on flavours from abroad and also embracing the very best of British. We’ve sought to create something for every occasion this summer”.

Products will begin rolling into stores from 17 April.

Waitrose is among a growing number of brands and grocers using AI and social media insights to inform its food innovation teams.

It includes a partnership with the platform Tastewise, which over the past two years has been used by Waitrose’s development chefs to identify new food trends and popular emerging flavours.

The supermarket had previously credited Tastewise with helping to inform the direction of its Japanese inspired own-label Japan Menyu, which launched in September 2023.

The new summer range is Waitrose’s most significant new NPD launch since the overhaul of its own-label food to go ranges in February.

“Swicy Summer”, “Un-beetable veggies” and low & no mocktails are among some of the other trends that inspired the menu, Waitrose said.