British retailer Waitrose heading to U.S.

British grocer Waitrose JLP.UL is planning its first foray into the U.S. through the relaunch of a premium food range founded by Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, reports Reuters.

Managing Director Mark Price, speaking at the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit, said 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. Waitrose, the grocery division of British retailer John Lewis, bought the license to the Duchy Originals brand in September last year and plans to take it into markets like India and Asia, as well as the U.S.

"We think a range that's supported by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, is organic, sustainable and top-of-the-range premium will have great resonance outside the UK," he said. "What we're working through now is the entry strategy. Do we go to one or two supermarkets? Do we go through a distributor in America who's going to put the product out more widely?"

 Waitrose currently sells its products in 25 foreign markets, generating about $74-89 million of annual sales, and its sales are expected to double over the next two to three years.