Supermarket Waitrose has partnered up with Mindful Chef, a British company that delivers recipes and ingredients to people’s homes, in a bid to capitalise on the trend propelled during the pandemic.
The news comes as the online food delivery industry has become increasingly popular during the pandemic, and just weeks after Asda announced its own partnership with Just Eat Takeaway to deliver food via electric bikes from the supermarket’s stores.
Mindful Chef, which was acquired by Nestlé in November 2020, has delivered some 20 million meals to UK households since 2015, according to the company’s founder Giles Humphries.
Customers stuck at home during lockdown and pandemic restrictions led to a surge in sales for the recipe box service, which saw them threefold to £53m last year, it was reported in June.
“We know many are moving to a hybrid way of shopping and eating, with a mix of recipe boxes, in-store and online shopping,” explained Waitrose commercial director Charlotte di Cello.
Another recent experiment in food shopping is that of delivery-only stores which are not open to the public, with many having been opened in London. Meanwhile Deliveroo recently opened three new ‘dark kitchens’ in London, where brands including Dishoom, Five Guys and Rosa’s Thai also plan to set up shops, and where chefs from partner restaurants will only cook food for delivery to streamline the take-out process.
In April this year, Waitrose announced an expansion of an existing partnership with Deliveroo, creating 400 new jobs by increasing the number of Waitrose branches available on the app from 40 to 150, and serving 13m people.
In the newly announced 12-week long trial with Mindful Chef, Waitrose customers will choose two to five recipes a wee and receive these along with the needed ingredients. While Mindful Chef will provide both the recipes and ingredients in the trial, Waitrose will supply an additional ingredient to “give customers something new to try,” the company said in a statement.
Cello said the aim of the the joint venture is to “spark some recipe inspiration” for customers of the supermarket, as well as offer convenience.