27 February 2014 - South Africa’s foremost destination for fresh produce - Food Lover’s Market, today announced a groundbreaking partnership with UK retail giant, Waitrose. In a first for the African continent, as of 03 March 2014, the fresh produce retailer will be stocking a diverse range of Waitrose products to meet the demands and expectations of South African consumers. This coincides with Fruit & Veg City’s 21st birthday.
“We are delighted that we will be offering a range of Waitrose products in our stores. We saw a synergy with the Waitrose brand as their core retail values of offering high quality food products and innovation in retail are so closely aligned to ours,” said Brian Coppin, CEO of Fruit & Veg City Holdings.
“We felt very strongly that we wanted to offer our consumers more choice and variety - Waitrose is the perfect compliment to our existing Fresher’s and Food Lover’s Signature product ranges. We have structured our grocery lines to appeal to the diverse Food Lover’s Market consumer - we can now delight the consumer with a greater choice.”
Says, Nigel Roberts - Head of UK & International Growth for Waitrose, “Our partnership with Food Lover’s Market was a very simple decision - Food Lover’s Market management were very passionate about Waitrose and when we saw their brand in action and experienced their stores, we knew we could forge a fantastic partnership.”
Food Lover’s Market will be stocking a range of ambient and frozen products, including Waitrose favourites, such as frozen ready meals, tarts, cakes and ice-creams. Ambient products include specialist oils, sauces and salad dressings, as well as pantry favourites including rice, pastas, condiments, coffees, teas, canned goods and a selection of spreads. Sure to be a hit on the shelves is the range of snacks and treats for the party host who wants to inject a little international flair and style with a range of savoury and sweet biscuits, as well as a selection of premium chocolate bars.
Says Roberts about the selection of Waitrose products on offer, “From our experience dealing with other international markets, global favourites are typically our biscuits, preserves and cereals/muesli - products which really are quintessentially British. Our authentically made European products, such as pasta and sauces, salad dressings and condiments, are also very popular. Finally, those with a sweet tooth must try our seriously delicious ice creams and frozen desserts in the freezer section.”
The Waitrose Story
South Africa marks the 50th Waitrose International partnership and is a landmark for Waitrose as its is now present on every continent, except Antarctica. The strategy of international growth is clearly working for the premium UK brand as international sales have grown almost 30% from last year (Feb 13- Jan 14) and the retailer is hoping for similar growth for this year.
Entering the South African market has long been an aspiration for Waitrose and the partnership with Food Lover's Market has proven to be the right springboard for the premium UK retailer.
“The Food Lover’s Market brand is very strong in South Africa and have similar attributes to the Waitrose brand in the UK - both brands have customers looking for great quality products. The in-store theatre of food ‘market feel’ and abundant availability of produce were just a few great shared attributes we were excited to work with.”
Waitrose in FreshStop stores
Says Coppin, “Waitrose products will also be stocked at selected FreshStop at Caltex stores - Fruit & Veg City’s c-store brand in partnership with Chevron. As FreshStop at Caltex has recently been awarded the prestigious International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award for 2013, it only makes sense that we offer our FreshStop consumers a range of convenience products from Waitrose as well.”
The convenience market is a large growth market in the United Kingdom and remains a key growth area for Waitrose. “The FreshStop stores have really raised the bar in the world of convenience in South Africa, with tremendous focus on choice and quality. Waitrose are delighted to be stocked in some of the FreshStop stores and we will feel right at home on their shelves too,” concludes Roberts.
Consumers can expect to find the Waitrose range in the Freezer and Grocery sections of over 120 Food Lover’s Market stores as of 3 March 2014.