Waitrose Celebrates 25 years of Duchy Originals

Duchy Originals, founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year as sales for the brand surpass £200 million for the first time.

The brand was created by The Prince to champion organic farming and is known today as the private brand Waitrose Duchy Organic, following a groundbreaking partnership established between Duchy Originals and Waitrose in 2009.

The brand has come a long way in 25 years since the first product, the ever-popular oaten biscuit, went on sale. Waitrose Duchy Organic is now the UK’s largest own-label organic brand and the second largest UK organic brand overall.

To celebrate its success, Waitrose is launching a competition inviting customers to submit their ideas for a main course featuring the organic brand’s ingredients. The winner will be invited to a celebratory banquet at Dumfries House in Ayrshire, Scotland where their winning dish will be served at a dinner hosted by The Prince of Wales.  Details for the competition can be found in Waitrose Weekend, the supermarket’s weekly newspaper, from this Thursday.

Rob Collins, Managing Director, Waitrose, says: “This 25th anniversary highlights the extraordinary vision of The Prince of Wales. In creating the Duchy brand, he has encouraged more sustainable agriculture and expanded the market for organic food in the UK and around the world. We are honored to be the custodians of the brand and delighted to have achieved the significant milestone of £200m in annual sales.”

A donation from the sale of Waitrose Duchy Organic products is also given to The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation. So far, just over £17 million has been donated to charitable causes, including the Duchy Future Farming Program, which helps farmers develop more sustainable farming practices and The Prince’s Countryside Fund, which works to secure a brighter future for those who live and work in the British countryside.

Based on the core values of ‘Tastes Good, Is Good, Does Good’, the food is produced without the use of artificial fertilizers and to high standards of animal husbandry. The use of pesticides and antibiotics is very much restricted.

The current range of Waitrose Duchy Organics available in the UK has grown to 300 products, from bacon to fresh fruit and vegetables to beer. The brand has also proved popular overseas. Products are exported to over 30 countries worldwide, including Japan, Germany, USA, Australia, Dubai and Taiwan.  The biggest selling category internationally is shortbread biscuits.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.