Fans of Marks and Spencer’s food halls will be thrilled with the news that they will soon be able to order its range for home delivery. M&S is taking over from Waitrose in its partnership with Ocado after almost 20 years in a £750million deal that was announced last year. The retailer is making the switch with hundreds of new products to keep shoppers happy.
Taking a competitive stance as it replaces the long-serving rival, Marks and Spencer has promised its range will be bigger than the Waitrose offering.
The food store will have 6,000 products going on sale on Ocado, compared to the 4,000 currently stocked by Waitrose.
But while it’s a big change for the brand, there were fears it could be difficult for Ocado shoppers as they get used to the switch – and that it may even cause some to leave.
Loyal Waitrose fans are therefore being lured in with new products, which have been designed to offer a direct match to their favourite items now that M&S is taking over.
The product development team is said to have been replicating some of the brand’s most popular products, especially when it comes to larger product sizes.
M&S has said it has focused on offering family pack sizes, a larger range of groceries and household cleaning products and a wider range of organic products too.
The new super-sized selection will include 1kg packs of dried pasta and rice, 450g packs of vegetables and 750g blocks of cheese.
The brand has even recreated Ocado’s bestselling Waitrose pizza in a bid to keep shoppers happy.
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The mushroom, feta and spinach pizza is a copycat recipe so that Ocado’s customers will have a more seamless switch.
More than 70 percent of the new range is already available in Marks and Spencer stores around the country, with more arriving through August and September.
However, the online partnership doesn’t go live until September 1, so customers have a few more weeks to wait – unless they’re booking ahead.
Shoppers heading to the Ocado website can browse some of the new products already, though they will be marked as out of stock for August delivery dates.
However, any deliveries for September will allow customers to add the M&S items to their basket, while Waitrose products will display the out of stock alert.
M&S is also hoping to match its predecessor on price points, with some products even costing a little less to help shoppers save money.
The “Remarksable Value” selection will include sliced bread with added fibre and vitamin D for 65p, 100 percent free range eggs at 90p and responsibly farmed Scottish salmon at £4 for two fillets.
The new offering joins its Cook With M&S range, which offers quick solutions for easier home cooking, and its expanded vegan Plant Kitchen range.
M&S Food Managing Director Stuart Machin said in a statement: “One year ago today, we began the joint venture with Ocado so that customers can access the full range of delicious, great quality M&S Food products online.
“The team has worked really hard to make this happen and from today, customers can view the existing range of M&S products on the Ocado website as well as hundreds of new ones.
“Our customers can be confident that they will enjoy even better choice and even better value, whether they are shopping in-store or online.”
The retailer has also noted that the pandemic has meant a huge surge in demand for online shopping, so customers may struggle to secure a slot straight away.
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