Blog: Will Pippa pen a recipe for success for Waitrose?

Michelle Russell | 26 February 2013

Upmarket UK retailer Waitrose appears to be subtly recalibrating to target a younger audience with the signing of Pippa Middleton as its new columnist.

The Duchess of Cambridge's sister has been secured by Waitrose to pen a column called Pippa's Friday Night Feasts, which it says will feature "relaxed and easy entertaining ideas" by the 29-year-old.

The news, however, comes after the retailer last month ended its contract with popular UK chef Delia Smith, 71. Predictably, the move was not welcomed by some, with the general sentiment that a woman with so little experience in the kitchen could dislodge and much more qualified woman due to her celebrity status.

"I would much rather watch Delia and her delicious dishes than watch this money grabbing madam," one commentator wrote.

But as we have seen, celebrity endorsement can, in many cases, be seen to be aspirational. Sainsbury's is testament to that with its previous long-term tie-up with Jamie Oliver.

There are of course many instances when this can go horrible wrong. Think Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong.

Pippa's royal connections, however, offer Waitrose a further regal boost. The retailer already has an exclusive deal with the Prince of Wales' Duchy Originals brand for the manufacture and distribution of the product throughout the UK.

Waitrose will no doubt be hoping for even a small percentage of that same success with the new column.

They may also want to start praying it garners more favourable reviews than Pippa's first book Celebrate: a one-stop guide to entertaining that was panned for its over-simplistic advice. The book even sparked a parody Twitter account #pippatips.

Let us hope the advice in her new column offers something more substantial than how to toast marshmallows or insight such as: "Give a room that bright feeling by opening any blinds or curtains".

Her first column will appear in the April issue of the title, on sale from 28 March.


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