Waitrose targets ethical consumers

By James Knowles

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Fairtrade, Fair trade

Waitrose has extended its Fairtrade range to include chocolate and
coffee, in a bid to catch the ethical consumer.

The new introductions are available in store now and include Waitrose Fairtrade Organic Sumatran Mandheling roast and ground coffee, Waitrose Fairtrade organic Peruvian decaffeinated both at £2.69 and Waitrose Organic Fairtrade Swiss chocolate bars in dark chocolate, milk chocolate or milk chocolate with hazelnuts, all priced £1.39.

"Organic and Fairtrade cocoa is now empowering communities previously challenged by poverty and civil unrest to proactively shape their own futures,"​ Waitrose said in a statement.

Waitrose is the latest supermarket wanting to increase its slice of the Fairtrade market. Mintel predicts that Fairtrade products will be in great demand in the New Year as shoppers fill their baskets with ethical products.

"We are talking about trends, not fads here, so we predict that all of these developments will be around for some time to come,"​ said David Jago, director of GNP custom solutions at Mintel.

Barbara Crowther, head of communications at the Fairtrade Foundation, told FoodandDrinkEurope.com that what we are seing is retailers responding to what consumers want.

"I think people are much more aware of the impact they can have globally,"​ she said.

She added that Fairtrade sales are doubling every year at a rate of 40 to 50 per cent. The three original Fairtrade products, Café Direct, Green and Blacks Mia Gold and Clipper Tea are not only still on shelves and still in demand, but the range has grown to over 2000 products.The Fairtrade Foundation predict that sales will continue to grow as retailers wake up to consumer demand.

Sainsbury's announced last week plans to start selling 100 per cent Fairtrade banana's only, creating social premiums of £4m driven by sales. The change means that the supermarket now buys up to five times more bananas from producers.

"This move to 100 per cent Fairtrade leads the world, and really sets the standard for global Fairtrade sourcing,"​ commented Justin King, Sainsbury's CEO.

Sainsbury's is currently the UK's leading Fairtrade retailer shifting over 1000 banana's per minute. Sainsbury's now enjoys a larger proportion of the Fairtrade market than all of the other supermarkets combined.

The food retailer reports that 60 per cent of shoppers buy fair-trade during their shop.

Waitrose currently has just over 100 products in its Fairtrade range, including fruit, coffee, tea, biscuits, snacks, chocolate, cocoa, sugar, honey and wines.

Related topics: Market Trends

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