London-based direct-to-consumer meal kit firm Dishpatch has been acquired by UK upmarket grocer Waitrose.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed due to the “commercially sensitive” nature, Just Food was told.

Waitrose, owned by the John Lewis Partnership, said the purchase aligned with its “ambition to be the trusted home for food lovers”.

A statement on Dishpatch’s website indicated that its “immediate focus” would “be to grow our existing meal kits business and reach a wider audience for our meals with the support of Waitrose”.

Peter Butler, the founder and CEO of Dishpatch, is expected to remain in his position, Waitrose said.

Set up in 2020, Dishpatch delivers ready-to-heat meals designed by renowned British chefs, including Angela Hartnett, José Pizarro and Michel Roux Jr., and London-based restaurants such as Cafe Murano and St. John.

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The group provides more than 40 different menus for customers to choose from, with meals delivered to homes in the UK every Friday.

Dishpatch also sells wines typically offered on the restaurant’s wine lists.

Waitrose executive director James Bailey said the retailer saw “significant opportunities for Dishpatch”.

He added: “We have shared values in serving our customers the best quality food and we’re looking forward to working together.

“While our immediate focus will be helping Dishpatch grow its core meal kit business, we are also looking forward to working with the team to bring further new and exciting food experiences to Waitrose customers.”

Butler pointing to the firm’s “aligned values” with the retailer, adding: “We’re excited to bring our meal kits to a wider audience and exploring new opportunities beyond that.”

Waitrose has shown interest in the meal-delivery sector in the past. In September 2020, it was reported to have been battling against Nestlé to take over healthy meal delivery service, Mindful Chef.

The Cheerios cereal manufacturer eventually secured a majority stake in Mindful Chef a couple of months later.