Waitrose price cuts

Exporter Ramsden International will be adding hundreds of Waitrose own-label goods, from confectionery to gifting, to its global distribution network

Waitrose is partnering with exporter Ramsden International in a bid to expand to new international markets.

Shoppers in over 130 countries will now be able to buy some of Waitrose’s most popular own label brands, including Essential, Duchy Organic, No. 1 and Cooks Ingredients, as more than 1,000 products are set to be available to Ramsden’s vast global distribution network.

The offering will span ambient grocery and non-food ranges, including seasonal assortments such as confectionery, bakery and gifting, as well as store cupboard essentials such as pasta, cereals and preserves.

The move is part of Waitrose’s larger plans to expand its international exports business by 10% this year after seeing foreign demand for its own-label products surge.

Overseas sales of Waitrose own-label products including cheese, granola and baked beans grew 14% last year on the back of increased demand from UK expats and local shoppers, the supermarket said last December.

The grocer, which currently lists around 2,000 products from its own-brand ranges for sale overseas, already had an established network of distributors in 42 countries, including in the UAE with the retail chain Spinneys and in Singapore, with supplier Dairy Farm International.

But the Ramsden partnership is set to help bring the brand to an array of new markets, said Waitrose director of commercial sales & convenience, Barry Delehanty.

“We are excited to work with Ramsden, having admired them as distributors for many years.

“We hope with Ramsden to be able to re-access European continental markets and introduce the Waitrose brand to their wide network of customers further afield.”

Ramsden International, the exports giant boasting a portfolio of over 25,000 products distributed to more than 650 customers around the world, said the partnership was part of its commitment “to deliver excellence and British quality worldwide”.

“This partnership with Waitrose is a testament to our shared commitment to quality and innovation,” said Sean Ramsden, founder and CEO of Ramsden International.

“We see huge opportunities to extend sales of the Waitrose brand across many of the 100-plus markets we currently supply, leveraging our deep knowledge and experience of the commercial, operational, logistical, and regulatory challenges of exporting British food, built over 50 years of exporting.

“We’re confident this partnership will create real value for Ramsden International, Waitrose, and retailers and consumers across the world.”

The tie-up is “primed to cater to evolving consumer preferences and capitalize on emerging market trends” such as plant-based, as well as frozen ready meals and confectionery, the company said – all areas in which Waitrose has been investing in recent years.