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Upmarket UK retailer Waitrose has declined to add detail to a report that the company is planning its first foray into the US through the relaunch of its Duchy Originals range.

The premium organic food range, founded by Prince Charles, announced a licensing and distribution agreement with Waitrose in September. At the time, the up-market supermarket chain said it aimed to expand the range from the 200 items it currently carries to around 500 products.

However, speaking at the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit on Monday (21 June), managing director Mark Price told attendees that the new ‘Duchy Originals from Waitrose’ range, due to go on sale in September, would act as a catalyst to accelerate Waitrose’s expansion in international markets.

Price said he plans to take the royal brand into markets such as India and Asia, as well as the US, where he hopes the products will become a “serious part” of Waitrose’s export business.

Price added that the firm is now working through an “entry strategy”, which may involve going through “one or two” supermarkets or though a US distributor.

When contacted by just-food today, Waitrose declined to add detail to the reports, adding only that the plans are in the very early stages.

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By GlobalData