Waitrose expands ‘Unpacked’ range after growth in refillable sales

Waitrose has announced the launch of 13 new products onto its ‘Unpacked’ refillables line, following a growth in demand for refillable products.

A customer buying from Waitrose unpacked lineWaitrose Unpacked was launched in summer 2019 and offers customers the opportunity to buy some products without any plastic or packaging.

The supermarket has recently reported that sales of refillables at its four Unpacked shops, at Oxford Botley Road, Cheltenham, Wallingford and Abingdon, have grown by nearly 9 per cent in the past six months.

Sales of refillable frozen fruit and vegetables increased by more than 50 per cent in the same period, whilst detergent and washing-up liquid sales have grown by 24 per cent and pulses, pasta and grains have risen by almost 8 per cent.

The new Unpacked lines will include five different varieties of loose tea, dried apricots, dried fruit mix, raisins, sultanas and currants.

Refillable options for popcorn, frozen peas and frozen sweetcorn have also been added.

In January this year, Waitrose became the first national supermarket to integrate unpackaged items into its regular aisles within its shop in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, rather than having a single unpacked area.

The move helped the sale of refillables at the shop increase by more than 20 per cent in the first 10 weeks of the move, which has led to Waitrose considering a roll-out across more stores in the future.

“We are really beginning to find some momentum with customers demonstrating that this is how they might be prepared to shop with us in the future and we are especially encouraged by the response to moving the concept in-asile to make it more of the norm when visiting us,” said Marija Rompani, Partner and Director of Ethics and Sustainability at Waitrose.

“We know there is much more work to do, but the reaction of customers right now is giving us the confidence to continue moving forward with Unpacked.”

The selection of refillable products available to customers includes frozen fruit and vegetables, store cupboard essentials such as rice, pasta and grains, cereals, dried fruit, snacking and coffee, as well as Ecover washing-up liquid and detergent.