Advanced search think that essential Waitrose was a rubbish idea?

(78 Posts)
WhatFreshHellIsThis Wed 02-Dec-09 19:23:44

DP bought essential Waitrose fish fingers the other day when we normally buy a branded one. I wasn't too bothered, although they're cod and we normally buy haddock to avoid the whole cod overfishing thing.

Looked at the ingredients to see how much salt they had (DS2 is eight months and doing BLW) and the ingredients shocked me a bit.

To compare, the branded one's ingredients are:

Haddock fillet, Wheat Flour, Water, Paprika, Salt, Yeast, Turmeric, Potato Starch, Salt, Vegetable Oil.

essential Waitrose:
cod fillet, wheat flour, palm oil, water, salt, yeast, turmeric, paprika and curcumin, emulsifier mono- and diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids


Has anyone found an essential Waitrose product that wasn't a bit crap yet? And what is all that mono and diacetyl crap, what purpose can it possibly serve in something simple like a fish finger?

And isn't palm oil a really bad thing to use at the moment?

OR am I just a nutter who reads packets too closely?

sparkle12mar08 Wed 02-Dec-09 19:33:52

The palm oil will have re[laced the vegeatble oil, so isn't a problem in that sense, though it's not the most enviromentally friendly crop I agree. The fatty acid esters are common in most processed foods and are used to bind ingredients and carry flavours and aromas. They're not a frankenstein ingredient but are not always necessary either.

Personally I like most Waitrose essentials, but am livid they discontinued their own caffeine free cola - it was yum!

Dominique07 Wed 02-Dec-09 19:40:52

I don't know, I live near a Waitrose and shopping there for convenience can be so expensive.
Sometimes its what you can afford!
I will check the ingredients more closely now tho.

MrsJamin Wed 02-Dec-09 19:41:24

I love waitrose essentials, one of the reasons I can still shop there as they did seem to bring down the price on things they already sold as a waitrose brand. I do buy the fishfingers though and never looked at the list of ingredients for 2 YO DS - will perhaps buy a brand next time.

WhatFreshHellIsThis Wed 02-Dec-09 19:44:10

Thanks sparkle, I wasn't sure what those chemicals were so it's good someone knows!

I've just been a bit disappointed in most of the essentials things I've bought - think I was hoping for Waitrose quality and values at cheap prices, guess they're going to have to sacrifice something to get the prices down.

purplepeony Wed 02-Dec-09 20:22:56

I have found that most products are exactly the same as before, but I don't buy processed foods.

I think the "Essentials" is a marketing ploy only- they repackaged in cheaper looking packaging to try to give the impression of cheapness/value. A case of dubing down.

purplepeony Wed 02-Dec-09 20:23:55

dumbing down.

MrsJamin Thu 03-Dec-09 07:12:50

I don't think it was just rebranding, the prices seem to have come down. Also, I love that it makes you think that tea cakes are Essential.

Clayhead Thu 03-Dec-09 07:20:59

The products I buy are exactly the same as before - honey, peanut butter, chopped tomatoes, flour, sugar, bread are the ones I can think of.

Also got some 'essential' blueberries... smile

Skegness Thu 03-Dec-09 07:32:35

lol at essential blueberries! I've recently succumbed to the lure of the lovely Ocado despite the expense and I really like the essentials range as my partner (a food snob to beat the band) hasn't clocked that this is their value line yet. He was, by contrast incensed when I bought Sainsbury's basic pasta and gave it all to the kids' harvest festival charity collection!

PrivetDancer Thu 03-Dec-09 07:43:13

Teehee yes we were giggling at their definition of essential too. Like the lasagne sheets - not just plain white lasagne, oh no, it's crinkly lasagne verdi

CaptainUnderpants Thu 03-Dec-09 08:04:46

For breakfast I have just had Waitrose Essential Sultana Bran

Yet to see Waitrose Essential Rice Crispies or Frosties . grin

I do like Waitrose ,although dont do my main shop there, the staff are always so polite not like the Tesco where they are shouting across the tills to each other having a conversation whilst 'serving' you . hmm

Agree its just to get people to compare and think they are being good with money.

MrsJamin Thu 03-Dec-09 12:00:27

I can't see how it's waitrose value line if there is no other waitrose alternative of the same product? It's just waitrose own products.

bottersnike Thu 03-Dec-09 12:09:38

I love Waitrose Essential! They do Rice Pops, by the way - same price as Tescos.
The only thing we've been disappointed with is the Essentials apples - not nice at all - we've gone back to their "ordinary" apples.

ImSoNotTelling Thu 03-Dec-09 12:10:16

essentials fillet steak always makes me smile

GetOrfMoiLand Thu 03-Dec-09 12:16:04

I like Waitrose essential. Their essentials sausages and other meats are excellent quality and value. Think their essentials range is like the normal equivalent in Sainsbos (and priced accordingly).

purplepeony Thu 03-Dec-09 12:24:57

I haven't noticed any difference at all.
I shop at W 100% of the time.

I assumed that the Essentials range was simply their own Waitrose brand, repackaged to look cheaper- the packaging is simple and gives the impression of being cheaper, but I think the products are identical to their old "Waitrose own" brands.

Stigaloid Thu 03-Dec-09 12:27:56

Make your own fish fingers - takes 20 mins.
Cut up haddock and place in beaten egg for a couple of minutes, turning to coat all over.

whizz up 2 slices of bread to make breadcrumbs (or buy breadcrumbs in box)

Roll fish in breadcrumbs and put in oven. Cook for 12-15 mins.


GetOrfMoiLand Thu 03-Dec-09 12:29:26

I really want some fishfingers and tomato sauce now.

<looks in crappy lunchbox>

<gets out crappy cup a soup>


MadameCastafiore Thu 03-Dec-09 12:30:58

You can make your own fishfingers without any of the shite in - it is simple and quick and better for your child.

Mine get the big haddock ones from waitrose though as they only have that sort of stuff once a week and it won't kill them!

bratnav Thu 03-Dec-09 12:31:30

Oooh WhatFresh, you would shop at the same Waitrose as me <tries to hide MN crush>

I get my weekly shop from Waitrose, mostly their essentials stuff as we can afford it! We don't really buy any convenience stuff as I make almost all our meals from scratch. I would say that their fruit, veg and meat is brilliant, way better quality than the normal stuff from Tesco or Asda.

hannahsaunt Thu 03-Dec-09 12:31:46

Why do fishfingers at all? I just gave mine fish as it came ...

fishie Thu 03-Dec-09 12:33:21

haddock and cod not good anyway. get pollack.

GetOrfMoiLand Thu 03-Dec-09 12:44:28

Agree quality of fruit and veg from Waitrose (Sainsbo a close second) far superior, and not that much more costly compared to Asda.

DP got a shed load of fruit and veg from Asda once, I nearly cried. It went off very quickly.

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