Picnicware up 140% at Waitrose

Westgrowers, an asparagus grower in the Vale of Evesham, has been supplying Waitrose for nearly 20 years with British Asparagus. Over the last 4 years, based on Westgrowers’ wish to highlight the famous connection of their area with Evesham asparagus, they started discussions with Waitrose and DEFRA to gain PGI status for the area. From St Georges Day this year Westgrowers will proudly be supplying Waitrose with Vale of Evesham PGI asparagus.

Total sales, excluding fuel, were down 4.6% at Waitrose for the week ending last Saturday (April 22) compared with the same week last year.

The supermarket chain’s property & development director Nigel Keen said: “Comparisons are heavily distorted due to the fall of Easter. This means we are comparing a full week in 2016 with six days this year.”

Sunny spells led to an increase in sales of warmer weather food. Sales of rosé saw a rise of 22% and outdoor products increased by 230%, including picnicware which climbed by 140%.

Sales of fresh fruit and produce also had a strong week, with raspberries up 40%, strawberries 28% and salad 14%.

Waitrose also announced the launch of British, Vale of Evesham asparagus, which was awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status earlier this year.

As a result, asparagus sales increased by 60% as customers enjoyed the 100% British in-season vegetable.

To celebrate the accreditation, Waitrose is the only supermarket to sell a dedicated pack of Vale of Evesham asparagus which has been available in shops from St. George’s Day (Sunday April 23).

In order to be protected under PGI, a product must be produced, processed or prepared in the geographical area it is associated with.

The mark is only given to a product if it is deemed to have a reputation, characteristics or qualities that are a result of that area. Other products which have the PGI mark include Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese and Cornish sardines.


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