Blog: Spotlight returns to possible Ocado-Waitrose rift
Katy Askew | 17 June 2013
Speculation cracks could be emerging in what, to date, has been a winning online partnership between Ocado and Waitrose continue to mount here in the UK.
The weekend papers again emphasised Ocado is ramping up its own-label focus, with commentary focusing on the possibility the internet grocer could be moving to reduce its reliance on Waitrose.
A spokesperson for Ocado confirmed today (17 June) the group is pressing ahead with previously-announced plans to increase its own-label sales to 30% of total revenue. Currently, about 20% of Ocado sales are own label.
"The number of Ocado own label lines increased from around 450 to 500 or so last year, which has obviously helped support strong growth in own label sales. If you look online at the moment, that number does not appear to have materially changed. The point is not the number of lines per se it is their increased penetration in the mix," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson declined to provide further details on what categories Ocado is focusing on or how quickly it plans to complete the transition to a higher proportion of own label sales. "These details simply aren't available yet," the spokesperson said.
Ocado acts as a delivery arm for Waitrose - carrying Waitrose own-label products on its website - and the combination has proven mutually beneficial for both groups. However, following an announcement Ocado has entered into an agreement to help Morrisons develop its online presence, rumours have mounted that divisions are growing.
Ocado has said its new relationship with Morrisons will not have an impact on its dealings with Waitrose. For its part, Waitrose has declined to comment on what - if any - impact the Morrisons tie-up will have on its business, or its relationship with long-term partner Ocado.
The existing deal between Waitrose and Ocado lasts until 2020. However, with a clause in the contract providing Waitrose with the opportunity to walk away in 2017, any ranging move from Ocado is likely to get tongues wagging.
Five months after Cargill's rumoured interest to buy Archer Daniels Midland's cocoa and chocolate businesses came to nothing, the company today (2 September) announced a deal for part of the assets....
UK health leaders have called for an "emergency task force" to tackle the childhood obesity crisis in the country as, for the first time, they are faced with a generation of patients "who may predecea...
Tyson Foods has completed its US$8.55bn acquisition of Hillshire Brands, with shares in the Jimmy Dean sausage maker delisted before the market opened today (29 August) - and its CEO leaving the busin...
New Zealand dairy group Synlait Milk revealed today (28 August) it has hit the "major milestone" of receiving regulatory clearance to begin exporting finished product from its new NZ$28.5m dry blendin...
- BRICs and beyond: Fonterra, Beingmate partnership
- Comment: Competition to rise on whey investments
- On the money: Mengniu hones in on "star" brands
- just-food interview: Agropur CEO Robert Coallier
- Consuming issues: The hunger-obesity paradox
- Valio lactose-free trucks stopped at Russia border
- Heinz halves sugar in ketchup launch
- H1 profits down at dairy group FrieslandCampina
- Bisco Misr says Kellogg eyeing majority stake
- Olam sells Cote d'Ivoire dairy to FrieslandCampina
- China - ISA Country Report
- New Strategies for offering Convenience in Food - targeting new occasions, best practice and new solutions
- Other Dairy in Russia
- David Chapman's Ice Cream Ltd in Packaged Food (Canada)
- Global Food and Grocery Retailing, 2013-2018: Market Dynamics, Retail Trends and Competitive Landscape