Upmarket UK retailer Waitrose & Partners is to launch a new own-brand range - Japan Menyū - offering food items inspired from Japanese cuisine.
The products will be available later this month in the retailer's stores and website, as well as via Uber Eats and Deliveroo, the company said.
The Japan Menyū range has been created by a team of chefs and product developers at Waitrose & Partners.
The retailer also consulted Japanese chef, food writer and cookery teacher, Yuki Gomi, and the Asian Leadership Collective to ensure that cultural traditions are considered in the development of the range and designs.
Gomi said, "It’s been such a pleasure to collaborate with the Waitrose team on their new Japanese range. From the name of the range to the delicious selection of dishes that have been developed, so much care and consideration has been taken to deliver an amazing range that I know their customers will love.”
Zoe Simons, Waitrose senior development chef, added, "Our team has had a brilliant time building our Japan Menyū range. We’ve taken familiar flavours that we know our customers will love and created them into a range of brilliant products, including 13 vegetarian dishes, 10 of which are suitable for vegans.
"From the trends that our team has seen and the data that’s been gathered, we know that our customers are looking to expand their dining options even further and already enjoy delicious Japanese food."
Demand For Japanese Food
Social discussions on Japanese cuisine grew by 15% compared to last year, with Google searches seeing rapid growth compared to previous months, according to Tastewise, a data platform used across the food and drinks industry to showcase the latest trends data, analytics and insights.
On waitrose.com traffic on Japanese recipes page has seen 'significant growth', while searche for ‘tempura prawns’, ‘tonkatsu’, ‘soba noodles’ and ‘matcha’ increased by 113%, 75%, 69% and 37% respectively, compared to last year, the retailer added.
Charlotte Di Cello, commercial director at Waitrose, said, "I’m particularly excited about our new Japan Menyū range, having enjoyed so much of it growing up as my mum is Japanese. So much care and consideration has gone into each dish to ensure we’re offering the very best Japanese-inspired selection.
"We’ve seen significant growth in customer demand for Japanese foods, so to be launching this delicious and high quality curated range that can be enjoyed by anyone in the comfort of their own home is hugely exciting for all of us at Waitrose."