Waitrose has just done the most Waitrose thing ever by introducing roaming nutritionists to inspect the contents of customers’ baskets and suggest healthier alternatives. ‘Overheard in Waitrose’ is about to go into overdrive

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First came the questionable ‘Essentials’ range (with such everyday staples as rosemary focaccia, vermicelli nests and mini brioches). Then the in-store juice bars and yoga classes sprung up to appeal to the blending and bending middle class masses. Now Waitrose has gone full wellness by introducing in-house nutrition consultants, striding the shop floors to encourage shoppers to make healthier choices. They see you with your Essentials profiteroles, they’re coming for your confit de canard and don’t even try to slip in that ‘two for one’ gorgonzola. The Waitrons are onto you.

In a possible ‘preaching to the converted’ move, Waitrose has hired 100 nutrition advisers to not only guide shoppers towards the healthiest options in the aisles, free of charge, but for the sum of £95 you can also access a personalised nutrition programme, involving a health assessment questionnaire and private nutrition consultation, bespoke diet and lifestyle plan and a ‘starter pack’ of healthy food and recipes.

The scheme is, unsurprisingly, kicking off at stores in the South East initially, with eleven nutrition consultants currently in action, and the remaining 89 waiting to commence duty in the Waitrose wings. Steel yourself Basingstoke: yours will be the first store outside of London to boast a resident healthy eating specialist, and in addition to the introduction of nutrition genies Waitrose also plan a programme of health promoting workshops run by the likes of yoga teacher and PT Shona Vertue .

A Waitrose Health magazine will also hit the shelves later this month, edited by health and fitness writer Peta Bee , aiming to give healthy eaters new ideas and inspire customers to aspire to a healthier lifestyle.

Somehow we can’t imagine this going down at our local Lidl, but give it time. Whether PTs will be turning up with the Ocado order remains to be seen.

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