John Lewis Partnership – Are pickled onions and kippers the new way to someone’s heart?

Pickled onions, kippers and marmalade do not immediately say romance, but these are among the best selling Waitrose & Partners products being sent to loved ones abroad ahead of Valentine’s Day this year.

In the last week the products have moved into the top 20 best sellers for the first time ever at British Corner Shop, the online grocery store the supermarket partners with to export its products abroad. 

Essential Waitrose Pickled Onions are the fifth most ordered item in the last seven days – although mints were second! 

While boxes of chocolates, biscuits and toiletries, also made the list, it seems there are new ways to show someone you care. 

The retailer received 133% more orders in the last week for pickled onions and kippers than it did for some boxes of Waitrose & Partners chocolates.  

The country receiving the most orders of pickled onions tomorrow will be Germany, the most kippers have gone to the USA and the most jars of marmalade have been exported to Sweden. 

The humble baked bean remains as popular as ever with France due to receive more tins than any other country in time for this weekend.  

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British bacon and butter also continue to be in demand suggesting that a traditional breakfast may still be among the ways to a person’s heart. 

Barry Delehanty, B2B General Manager at Waitrose & Partners, said: 

“The top sellers really took us by surprise. While chocolates and oysters are the traditional choices for Valentine’s Day, it seems that the comforting flavours of home have won the hearts of customers overseas.

“Orders at British Corner Shop are up 15% this Valentine’s compared to last year underlining the importance food still plays in showing someone you’re thinking of them.”  

Alex Kortland, Communications Manager at British Corner Shop, added: 

“Traditionally, you’d think a box of chocolates would be the key to someone’s heart – however, when you live abroad and you’re without your home comforts – it’s the simple pleasures that you can’t get easily overseas that really make the biggest gesture.”

Elsewhere, the most bubble bath has been sent to Australia, the most chocolates have been exported to Germany, the most honey to Italy and the most cheese to France. 



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