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Waitrose Launches First Clear, Dairy-Free Cream Liqueur

This week UK retailer Waitrose will begin selling a new innovative private brand spirit. Shaking up the dated perception of cream liqueurs, Wild-Arbor is a modern take on a classic drink which can be served straight over ice or used in a variety of cocktails, from an Espresso Martini to a White Russian.

Free from gluten, GMOs, and lactose, Wild-Arbor is a clear spirit sweetened with honey, and has the same velvety texture, silky mouthfeel, and indulgent flavor as a cream liqueur, without the use of dairy. Ideal for those with lactose intolerance, or vegans who eat honey, it’s a revolutionary step in the world of cocktail-making. 

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John Vine, Waitrose spirits buyer says, ‘We\’ve been seeing the trend for retro drinks making a comeback for a while now and Wild-Arbor is proof that even the most traditional spirit can be modernized.’

Wild-Arbor is delicious served neat in a chilled rocks glass with ice and a slice of orange or a sprig of mint, or in a variety of cocktails.

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Eggs-traordinary Private Brand from Waitrose

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UK retailer Waitrose & Partners shoppers are set for a surprise this Easter as the art of illusion is a playful theme in this year’s private brand Easter selection, including a new addition from the celebrity chef and master of food illusion himself, Heston Blumenthal.

From chocolate hen’s eggs that might initially have you reaching for an egg cup or poaching pod, to a Spring Lemon almost indistinguishable from the fruit itself, the line is full of surprises.

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The master of irresistible invention, Heston Blumenthal is back with his new Heston from Waitrose brand  Eggstraordinary Chocolate Hen’s Eggs. These might look like they could be enjoyed on toast, but on closer inspection the eggs have been created from white chocolate and house a soft two-tone banoffee center, with layers of fresh banana purée ganache and dark chocolate caramel ganache.

Continuing with the theme of illusion, the Spring Lemon – complete with a leaf as if it’s just been plucked from the tree – looks like it’s ready to be sliced and squeezed. A surprising Easter treat, zesty lemon flavors fuse with smooth and creamy white chocolate for a unique sweet, yet citrusy flavor.

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For a grown-up upgrade to a traditional Easter Egg hunt, the Heston from Waitrose Eggstraordinary Speckled Eggs are back by popular demand. At first sight, these blue speckled mini eggs might not look like anything out of the ordinary, however chocoholics will be delighted to find a delicious fleur de sel caramel filling.

Kate Kind, Confectionery Product Developer for Waitrose & Partners, comments: “This Easter we’re offering shoppers our most playful and colorful creations to date. In this year\’s collection, we’ve focused on the art of illusion – a play on the unexpected, and the trend for fruity confectionery. We hope that shoppers will have as much fun tasting these treats as we had creating them.”

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Other Easter showstoppers include the irresistible hand-decorated Squiggle Eggs, available in three delicious flavors including Dark Chocolate and Orange, White Chocolate with Raspberry and Milk Chocolate with Salted Caramel. Shoppers can also take a walk on the wild side with Chocolate Animals; a White Chocolate Elephant and Milk Chocolate Lion.

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Waitrose ‘Love your Gut’

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A quarter (24%) of the United Kingdom admit they want to improve their diet to enhance their overall gut health, British grocer Waitrose has introduced a ‘Love your Gut’ private brand range to support customers with this choice.

In addition to the current line of products that are known for being good for gut health, a selection of new products with clear gut health benefits to help shoppers make smart and informed choices are being launched. Developed by nutritionists, these include two delicious soups – available now – and two Kefir drinks which will arrive online and in stores in March.

Available in two flavors, the soups support a healthy and balanced digestive system thanks to the active ingredient, chicory inulin. The tangy and fresh Carrot, Apple & Tumeric Soup with Cider Vinegar is a delicious blend of carrot, apple, coconut milk and cider vinegar finished with a sprinkle of turmeric, while the hearty and nourishing Multigrain Soup is made from chickpeas, millet, pearl barley and lentils in a rich and savory tomato sauce.

The two new kefir drinks support a healthy and balanced digestive system* and will be part of Waitrose’s new range. Available in two refreshing flavors – Mango & Passionfruit and Strawberry with a hint of Elderflower – both drinks will carry the Good Health logo and are a good source of calcium and protein.

As reported in the latest issue of Waitrose & Partners Health magazine, “The microbiome is having its moment”. Gut health is increasingly popping up on shoppers’ personal health agenda and shoppers are faced with a range of probiotics and advice on how to nourish their gut. To help customers with ways to improve their gut health, and also tackle the – sometimes confusing – terminology, Waitrose & Partners nutritionist Jo Lunn shares her top tips:

Prioritize calcium to support your digestive system (700mg a day is advised for adults aged 19-64: 200ml milk contains 250mg and 100g steamed tofu contains 510mg)

Aim for 12g of wheat, barley and oat fiber a day (found in whole meal bread and porridge). It improves your digestive health

Boost your intake of chicory inulin. Added to many products, it’s a type of fiber that improves stool transit time, supporting a healthy gut. Sprinkle Waitrose & Partners Milled Golden Flaxseed with Maca, Cacao & Chicory Inulin onto your daily porridge or smoothie

Keywords to look out for:

Probiotics: Anything that contains live bacteria – for example, live yogurt or fermented or vinegary food

Microbes: Microorganisms, especially bacteria, aka gut flora in the stomach

Bioavailability: The proportion of a substance that enters the circulation and has an effect when introduced into the body

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Waitrose Celebrates 10 Years of Sustainable Private Brand Tuna

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Last week marked 10 years that UK grocer Waitrose has been exclusively selling pole and line caught tuna across its canned private brand range.

The pledge, which Waitrose & Partners committed to in 2009, was made to ensure the sustainable fishing of tuna, as well as to preserve ocean biodiversity.

Despite other UK food companies making similar commitments, Waitrose remains the only dedicated supermarket retailer in the UK to exclusively source all of its canned tuna through MSC certified pole and line methods.

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Melissa Tillotson, Aquaculture & Fisheries manager at Waitrose & Partners

Melissa Tillotson, Aquaculture & Fisheries Manager at Waitrose & Partners, comments: “Hooking individual tuna one by one, such as through pole and line or troll caught methods, is a highly selective way to fish, helping to minimize the risk of catching other species, including endangered turtles, dolphins and sharks.

“Waitrose & Partners has a long history of sourcing responsibly and we are committed to doing our part to preserve the biodiversity in our oceans. We strongly believe that sourcing 100% of our canned tuna through pole and line methods from MSC certified fisheries is the right thing to do.”

George Clark at the Marine Stewardship Council, comments: “Waitrose has taken great strides forward in the sustainable sourcing of seafood and is leading by example as the only current supermarket in the UK to exclusively have all its own label tinned tuna MSC certified.  

“Tuna is perhaps the biggest challenge and most underrepresented when it comes to having certified seafood options available to UK customers and, like Waitrose has, it is vital that retailers continue to reward tuna fisheries that have demonstrated sustainable practices to ensure tuna fishing progresses towards a fully sustainable basis.”

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Sales Soar for Waitrose Festive Private Brand Vegan Range

\"\"Christmas is a time for everyone to enjoy great food, and sales of Waitrose & Partners festive vegan roast – from canapés right through to dessert – are soaring.

This year sales of the Christmas vegan private brand range are up 40% year on year, as more customers than ever look to incorporate a vegan offering into their festive feasts.

Vegan centerpieces are proving particularly popular with customers, with the Vegan Root En Croute and Nut Roast with Cranberry sauce being best-sellers.

And it’s not just the main event getting a vegan makeover, other best-sellers include the vegan mushroom and chestnut pate, the most popular starter among customers, and the most popular accompaniment is the vegan festive wreath – made with an apple and cranberry banger and mushroom and leek banger with an apricot and cranberry stuffing topped with a herb breadcrumb.

Throughout the year, the retailer has been extending its vegan offering to meet the demand of customers and sales for the overall vegan category are up 35% compared to last year. The Waitrose annual Food and Drink Report 2019/20 also revealed that sales of vegan ready meals were outselling their vegetarian counterpart for the first time.

Charlotte McCarthy, vegan and vegetarian buyer at Waitrose & Partners, says: “Our vegan range has been growing in popularity for a number of years, however, we anticipate this Christmas will be the biggest ever for vegan food. We’ve worked really hard to ensure that there is an exciting range available for our customers and that we offer an entirely vegan Christmas dinner – trimmings and all!”