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Waitrose divides opinion with new 'essentials' range – including artichoke hearts and Ardennes pâté

Are these items on your weekly shopping list?

Chloe Best

The average list of food shopping staples may include eggs, milk and bread - but not in Waitrose! The supermarket has added 300 new items to its "essentials" line for 2017, and it includes everything from tinned artichoke hearts to Limoncello dessert.

The items have been added due to their popularity, but the selection has divided opinion among shoppers, many of whom have questioned whether they really are 'essential'. "#OnlyInWaitrose," one person tweeted in response to the list, while another added: "Mmm not exactly on my list of essentials!" However others said they "love" the new additions to the budget line. "Delighted with the new Essentials range," one tweet read.

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Waitrose has added 300 new items to its 'Essentials' line

Waitrose launched its 'Essentials' line in 2009 in order to appeal to a broader range of customers, and the range – which consists of everyday items such as fruit, vegetables and cleaning items – has become one of Waitrose's most popular brands. The supermarket claims that the range now generates more than £1billion of sales a year.

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Some 300 items have been added to the range for autumn, including Ardennes pâté, halloumi and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Balsamic vinegar, Cappuccino mousse and Chamomile soup.

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Waitrose launched its 'Essentials' range in 2009

Speaking about the growing range, Waitrose said: "Growing in line with food trends and responding to consumer demand, products as varied as artichoke hearts, coconut milk and tortellini are now branded 'essential'. Our changing tastes have in part been shaped by cuisines which have become popular since the essential range was launched, with Mexican, Middle Eastern and Greek foods now firmly in the mainstream."

Martin George, Customer Director at Waitrose, added: "It's been fascinating to look at our sales trends to see what have become must-have items in our customers' eyes. From chamomile soap and baby avocados, to our latest additions to the range - quark and pickled beetroot - consumer tastes are much broader now, and this is reflected in the array of products which are now 'essential'."

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