Waitrose will launch its 50th sushi counter tomorrow (1st August) and has confirmed it will add up to 25 more by the end of January 2018.
The counters are part of the supermarket’s plans to reflect the needs of the modern day shopper by providing convenient food and drink to take away or eat in store. This has already seen the launch of a new ‘Kitchen’ concept, wine bars, eat-in bakeries and in-store cafes.*
Waitrose became the first UK national supermarket to offer sushi, which is freshly made in its shops, when it introduced a counter at its Battersea store in November 2015. The sushi counters were launched in co-operation with Sushi Daily.
Sushi counter sales at Waitrose grew by more than 23 per cent between February and April this year as the retailer delivered the fastest roll-out programme SushiDaily has experienced in the ten countries in which they now operate.
Waitrose Canary Wharf, the retailer’s largest store, is delivering one of the highest turnovers in sales of sushi among more than 600 counters Sushi Daily operates throughout Europe.
Following the opening of its 50th sushi counter in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, on 1st August, the supermarket will have opened more than 20 counters in the last six months.
Each Sushi Daily bar is headed by a team of skilled sushi artisans, who prepare a range of hand-made sushi and maki everyday in front of customers. The bestselling lines at Waitrose include the Salmon Crunch Roll, California Crunch Roll and the Avocado Maki.**
This summer a variety of new Yellowtail sushi will be introduced in selected bars for the first time. Considered to be one of the finest fish in the world by many chefs, the creamy white fish delivers a fresh, full taste and will feature in four new products.***
Anthony Wysome, Head of Store Development for Waitrose, said:
“Sushi Daily counters add so much to our shops. The quality, freshness and theatre of the offer has intrigued and excited our customers everywhere we’ve added it.
“We’re delighted to have been able to expand this offer so quickly. Along with other successful new concepts like our wine bars, sushi helps us go beyond being just a supermarket to a place that provides great food and a vibrant, social atmosphere where you can enjoy it.”
Daniel Coole, UK and Ireland Managing Director, of KellyDeli, the parent company of Sushi Daily, added:
“Sushi’s popularity is undoubtedly on the rise. The number of bars and the range available has ensured it’s more accessible than ever, but what has enabled Waitrose to deliver our fastest ever roll out is that sushi is meeting the needs of more and more people.
“Customers want to have choice and to be inspired while seeking something convenient and healthy. That they can also see their food being freshly handmade in front of them by skilled chefs using quality ingredients means sushi really appeals – and not just as lunchtime option, but increasingly for dinner.”