15th April, 2014 by Lauren Eads
UK supermarket chain, Waitrose, is trialling a new in-store “grazing area” serving gourmet cheese boards and wines by the glass at one of its stores.
Customers will be able to order platters featuring ham, cheese and in-store delicacies with a glass of wine for £7.50 from “grazing areas” which will include benches and tables situated next to the deli and bakery areas to allow customers to try products that are on sale in the store, as reported by the Daily Mail.
The first of its kind was opened at a new Waitrose in Keynsham, Somerset, last week which is currently trialling the concept which includes a fresh juice bar and a wine tasting area.
Wine tasting areas have also been opened at stores in Cambridge and Kingston where wines are charged at £3.25 a glass, with customers given the option of drinking a bottle on the premises for a corkage fee of £7.40, plus the wines retail value.
Moira Howie, the Waitrose nutrition manager, told the paper: “The idea of three square meals a day will give way to little-and-often grazing.
“Consumers will monitor their own calorie intake and energy use through technology and specially designed apps. With an ageing population, smaller portions of nutrient-rich foods will be popular.”
Waitrose said the “grazing area” concept is a trial and were therefore unable to say how many other outlets could introduce them, if successful the initiative could be rolled out nationwide.
However last month Waitrose managing director Mark Price said Waitrose would be trialling different “hospitality concepts” and indicated that the supermarket chain would be opening more than 100 conventional in-store cafes, adding to the current 100, as well as 100 mini gardening shops or ‘pods’ this spring selling grow your own vegetables and plants following a successful trial of 40 last year.
Price is due to outline the next phase of the trials at the new Swindon store next month.
Waitrose was found in Acton, west London, in 1904 by Wallace Waite, Arthur Rose and David Taylor before being taken over by the John Lewis partnership in 1937 when it had just 10 stores.
It has since grown to more than 300 including more than 30 smalller convenience stores.