Waitrose Brews Up Home Compostable Coffee Pods

Starting in December 2018, Waitrose will be the first major retailer in the United Kingdom to sell private brand home compostable coffee pods. The move comes as the retailer works to fulfilling its commitment that all its private brand packaging will be widely recyclable, reusable or home compostable by 2025.

The four new Waitrose 1 coffee capsule SKUs will be compatible with Nespresso machines. All are Fairtrade certified and will be available in recyclable cardboard packaging. The coffee varieties will be from Colombia, Brazil, Peru (decaffeinated) and Italian style espresso.

It can sometimes be difficult to separate the small capsule from the coffee grounds inside for recycling. Coffee grounds are often used as a fertilizer, so making a compostable home version seemed an obvious environmentally-friendly choice. It’s estimated that a third of people in the UK own a coffee pod machine, which shows the demand for an environmentally-friendly solution.

Polly Astbury, coffee buyer at Waitrose, said: “Our customers love coffee and worry about the waste pods can create. By being the first supermarket to launch its own home compostable coffee pods we’re really happy to be able to offer a solution. We’re committed to finding environmentally-friendly packaging alternatives and are excited by this next step.”

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Christopher Durham
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.