Source: Waitrose

Waitrose’s revamped Cooks’ Ingredients range will feature new packaging and labelling

Waitrose is relaunching its Cooks’ Ingredients range with over 40 new products and a new design and label.

The supermarket has started rolling out the new range in stores this week, as it aims to bank on people cooking more at home amid rising household and food costs.

“We’re seeing our customers meal planning and prepping dishes in advance more than before, as well as using their increased home-cooking repertoire since the pandemic,” said Waitrose product developer Tim Daly.

The number of Cooks’ Ingredients lines will expand from 420 to 458, with some of the old products being re-tiered out of the range while others will be delisted. The full range will be available in all stores by mid-October.

Whilst the original Cooks’ Ingredients range, first launched in 2005, was mostly focused on home baking, herbs and spices, and Italian, Indian and Chinese cuisines, this relaunch would see many of its staples make way for other items that were more in line with current cooking trends, Waitrose said. These included specific ingredients inspired by south east Asia, Japan and Mexico.

The grocer has also taken out some home baking products and decorations “to reflect changing baking trends” and has removed some frozen items to make way for flavoured butters and Thai green curry portions.

It also removed meal kits and replaced them with individual items, such as pastes, as “customers like to customise their own recipes”.

“We’re always looking at our product ratings and reviews online and we take all customer feedback and buying trends on board to make decisions for our ranges,” a spokeswoman for the retailer said.

“Cooks’ Ingredients is particularly reliant on shopping habits and we listen carefully to what our customers tell us about how and what they’re cooking at home.”

Ahead of the relaunch, some customers used social media to complain about the low levels of herbs and spices in stock in various Waitrose stores across the country.

Pictures posted on Twitter showed empty or nearly depleted shelves as the supermarket prepared to roll out the new lines. Waitrose apologised for the lack of availability and asked customers to “keep an eye out” for the new products.

The revamped range will also feature brand new packaging and labelling to include QR codes, which link to online information and recipes.

According to the retailer, the new packaging is also more sustainable. “In line with our ambitions to reduce packaging across our products by a third by 2023, we’ve looked at what changes we could make across the new Cooks’ Ingredients range,” said Waitrose packaging development manager Christina Capellaro.

“Some examples include removing plastic components such as replacing plastic caps with metal ones; moving from plastic to paper labels on jars and bottles; using widely recyclable packaging for the new range of dried herbs and removing zips on frozen fruit packaging.

“We also have unpacked lines in the range, including root ginger, garlic and apples.”

Through these changes, Waitrose had reduced plastic packaging weight by 41 tonnes and overall packaging by over 62 tonnes per year, Capellaro said.