Waitrose relaunches Essential range with more than 200 products and reduced plastic

Many shoppers have wisened up to the fact that they can save money by switching from big brands to supermarkets’ own products when they buy their groceries. The Essential Waitrose range is one of the most popular brands, with more than a quarter of the supermarket’s own-brand sales coming from the selection each year. This month the company has revealed it is relaunching the entire range with more than 200 new and improved products. 


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The regenerated Essential collection will have a focus on healthy living, with the majority of the range designed to support a balanced diet. 

At least a third of the products will also carry the “Good Health” logo to indicate that it has a clear nutritional benefit providing vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. 

The range was first created in 2009, but the upmarket store has redesigned the packaging for the relaunch. 

The products have a new modern feel, as well as being updated to help reduce plastic waste. 

The brand has been working hard to cut back on its sustainability initiatives. 

Packaging Manager for Waitrose, Karen Graley commented: “We are committed to reducing the amount of packaging we use, for all our products. 

“For Essential Waitrose, we set ourselves the target of reducing packaging, including single use plastic by 15 percent, which we are on track to do by September 2020. 

“We are really proud of this as it helps us move even closer to eliminate unnecessary plastic and make all own-brand packaging widely recycled, reusable or or home-compostable by 2023.”

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Cutting back on packaging by 15 percent will mean a total saving of nearly 2000 tonnes of plastic.

The changes include a move away from glass jars to steel cans, with products such as the Essential Olives being packaged this way. 

The switch will save 92 tonnes of glass packaging a year, a Waitrose spokesperson said. 

Zip seals have also been removed from all Essential dried fruit bags, saving two tonnes of plastic a year. 


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Even the smaller details have been addressed, with the plastic dust guard on Essential tissue boxes being removed from the design.

All bags in the frozen fruit range are now fully recyclable, saving nearly one tonne every year, while chilled bread packaging has also had a makeover of its material to save almost one and a half tonnes of waste each year. 

Many supermarkets have been criticised in recent years for the excess packaging on products, especially in the fresh aisles. 

The redesign shows supermarkets are making progress with sustainability issues following the introduction of costs for plastic shopping bags. 

The revamped range also puts a focus on personal care, with the hair care, washing and bathing, men’s toiletries and skincare categories seeing the most new additions. 

Brand Manager for Essential Waitrose, Kate Gibbs said in a statement: “Our Essential Waitrose range has been created by experts to exhibit the standout quality and value that Essential Waitrose products have to offer. 

“Our aim is to offer the highest welfare, quality and value products which we know our customers expect. 

“Supporting our farmers and suppliers remains a key priority and with the new design we hope our customers will be even more drawn to the range and the new products within it.”

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