Waitrose has launched its first ever premium range, Waitrose 1, which includes a selection of breads and oatcakes.

This will initially include 520 items, including baked goods such as bread and oatcakes, as well as seasonal items such as hot cross buns. The range is set to increase to over 800 products at points in the year, as a result of other seasonal additions.

Rupert Thomas, marketing director of Waitrose, said: “This will unequivocally be the best supermarket range in Britain.”

He added: “Shoppers are increasingly time-poor. We’ve got to make their shopping as convenient for them as we possibly can. One of the ways we can do this is clear signposting of our offer.”

The range all comes packaged in boxes and pots that are off-black and off-white, or two tasteful shades that Waitrose has registered as “squid ink black” and “goose”.

Waitrose launched its bottom-end Essential range in 2009, and it has been a huge success. There are now over 2,000 items in Waitrose Essential, and together they are responsible for £1.1 billion-worth of annual sales, making it one of only five food and drink brands in Britain worth over £1bn.

The existing luxury sub-brands from the supermarket are Seriously, Menu From, and From Waitrose – Waitrose 1 will bring all of these into one range.

Customers are really adventurous

Jonathan Moore, executive chef at Waitrose, said: “Our customers are really adventurous and want to try something different. They eat out, they travel more. They come into Waitrose and they expect to see these trends being reflected.”

Waitrose 1, Moore predicts, is unlikely to match the scale of Waitrose Essential, but he adds, “I wouldn’t be surprised if it was half the size. That would be realistic.”