Waitrose secures Eurostar contract

Upmarket grocery chain Waitrose is making its first major foray into on-board catering with a deal to supply Eurostar buffet carriages.

The supermarket chain will start supplying the cross-Channel rail service with sandwiches, ready meals, salads and drinks from Tuesday, also marking its first big move into northern Europe.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
The employee-owned grocer, part of the John Lewis Partnership, will supply all standard-class buffet cars across the entire Eurostar fleet with hot and cold food, including mushroom risotto, chicken tikka masala, classic British sandwiches and croque monsieur grilled cheese and ham sandwiches.

It marks another major expansion abroad for the chain, which already earns export sales of £25 million a year - up 20% over the past year. Waitrose already supplies food to 45 countries including Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand and India.
David Morton, Waitrose business-to-business director, said: "This is a very exciting opportunity for us to work with such a prestigious brand, which shares our commitment to quality and service.

"To be the first food brand that Eurostar's customers experience when they are visiting Britain is tremendously powerful as we seek to expand our presence within northern Europe."

The deal gives Waitrose access to Eurostar's 10 million annual passengers who travel between destinations including Paris, London, Lille, Brussels and Calais. It will supply more than 20 products.

Julian Welham, head of on-board services at Eurostar, said: "Our British passengers will be well acquainted with the Waitrose brand, but for many of our continental customers this will be their first experience and we look forward to introducing them to the new range which includes both French and British classics."

Waitrose also has a smaller catering deal to supply yoghurt and fruit to premium passengers on British Airways flights.

The retailer has been a rare success story amid a squeezed grocery market in recent years, with its latest market share hitting a record 4.9%, according to market researcher Kantar Worldpanel. It has 291 shops across the UK and Channel Islands. No value or duration was placed on the deal.

Seven of the craziest supermarket glitches
See Gallery
Waitrose secures Eurostar contract

One of the most popular glitches, was a wine deal at Tesco back in November 2012, where a series of offers clashed, leaving a bottle of £9.99 wine selling for £1.50.

The 'three wines for £10' deal apparently clashed with a '25% off when you buy six or more bottles' deal. The 25% was accidentally taken off the original price rather than the reduced one, leaving the wine at rock bottom prices. Deal-hunters cleared the shelves around the country.

Perhaps the most popular glitch from Tesco came in June 2011, when instead of taking £4 off the cost of a £20 case of beer, the supermarket accidentally started selling the cases for £4. The ensuring rush was nicknamed the 'beer stampede'.

Sadly not every supermarket pricing glitch comes with such a happy ending for consumers. In March last year the bargain-hunters thought their luck was in, when Tesco accidentally priced the new iPad at just £44.99 instead of around £650. Sadly it spotted the mistake before shipping the goods. The small print on its website meant it could refuse to sell at this price, and refund their customers instead.

In September 2012, Asda was responsible for one of the most expensive glitches. The Asda Price Guarantee offered vouchers to customers who could have got their shopping cheaper elsewhere.

However, when certain trigger products were in the basket, the supermarket massively under-priced the shopping at other supermarkets, and offered huge vouchers to shoppers. In many instances the vouchers came to roughly the same as the cost of the shopping.

In April, a mistake on their website resulted in Tesco selling 8 packs of Bulmers cider 568ml bottles for £5 - rather than a six pack for £8.

Deal-hunters snapped up the deal online, and had varying degrees of success. Some had their order delivered in full, others had six delivered for £5 - and were able to negotiate their way to another two, while others were offered six for £5 or their money back.

October last year saw one of the most famous glitches, when Tesco Terry's Chocolate Oranges were subject to two deals at the same time, and the price dropped from £2.75 to 29p. There were plenty of people getting chocolate oranges last Christmas.

A buy-one-get-one-free deal went awry at Tesco in March. People putting four tubs of I can't Believe It's Not Butter or Oykos yogurt packs into the trolley were only being charged for one.

Soon the online deal-hunting community was in action, with one person bagging 50 tubs of butter and 22 pots of yogurt for £8.79 - a saving of £133.89.


More stories
Read Full Story