Duchy Originals from Waitrose

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Duchy Originals from Waitrose
Private,[1] Brand
Industry Food
Founded 1990[1]
Founder Charles, Prince of Wales[1]
Owner Waitrose
Website duchyoriginals.com

Duchy Originals from Waitrose[2] (Formerly Duchy Originals) is a brand of organic food sold mainly in Waitrose stores in the United Kingdom, and small independent stores.[3] The Duchy Originals company was originally set up by Charles, Prince of Wales, in 1990 and named after the Duchy of Cornwall estates that are held in trust by the Prince of Wales.

In September 2009, it was announced that a new arrangement had been agreed with Waitrose: this came into effect from August 2010 when products were relaunched along with a number of new lines under the Duchy Originals from Waitrose brand. This was as a result of an exclusive agreement between the two organisations.[4] From the brand's inception in 1990, Waitrose had been its largest customer. Prior to September 2009, a selected range of Duchy Originals products had been widely available in most major UK supermarkets.

In September 2009 it was announced that Duchy Originals had agreed an exclusive deal with Waitrose, for Waitrose to originate, manufacture, distribute and sell Duchy products within the UK, whereby Waitrose plan to expand the current range of around 200 products to around 500, and will continue the tradition of donating royalties to charity.[5] It was also stated that the Prince of Wales would continue his involvement with the brand.[4]

In 2013, The Daily Telegraph declared the brand as a global success.[6]

The brand[edit]

Duchy Originals was the name given to the brand of premium organic food and drink products. The company Duchy Originals owned the Duchy Originals brand, but does not sell food or drink that carries the Duchy Originals brand name. Instead products with the Duchy Originals name were sold and manufactured by a number of different retail companies, all of whom pay royalties to the Duchy Originals Company. The total annual value of these retail sales was over £53 million. However in September 2009 Waitrose gained the right to originate, manufacture, distribute and sell Duchy products. In August 2010 the range was relaunched albeit with new lines under the Duchy Originals from Waitrose brand.[2]

In December 2008, it was announced that the Duchy Originals brand was partnering with Nelsons to produce a line of herbal remedies.[7]

There are two other brands, Duchy Selections and Duchy Collections. Duchy Selections is a range of premium free-range (but not organic) pork and fish products and mineral waters, and Duchy Collections is a range of high quality non food products.

Financial information[edit]

The "turnover" of the Duchy Originals Ltd company, which is the royalty income notified to the company and which is also the gross profit, came to £4.86 million in 2006/7. Administrative expenses came to £3.31 million, giving an operating profit of £1.53 million.[8]

The company Duchy Originals Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary company of The Prince's Charities Foundation, and from the profit of £1.53 million, a charitable donation of £743,000 was given to the Prince's Charities Foundation. The proceeds from sales of Duchy Originals products in Canada are donated to the charities associated with The Prince's Charities Canada. More than one million dollars has been raised annually in this manner.[9]

For the financial year 2008/9, Duchy failed to make any profits and turnover slumped to £2.2 million, with an operating loss of £3.3 million, compared to the previous year's operating profit of £57,000. This was prior to the exclusive arrangement with Waitrose which rescued the brand in 2009.[10]

In 2013, it was stated that, through the brand, the Prince's Charities have now raised £11 million from its profits.[6] With record breaking sales, Waitrose gave the Prince's Charities £2.8 million.[11]

Global success[edit]

In 2013, The Daily Telegraph reported that the brand had grown to distribute over 230 products, which are sold in 30 countries from the United Kingdom, Australia and to Japan. The first product of the brand, oaten biscuits which were grown on the Prince of Wales Highgrove House estate have sold 70 million in total.[6]


The Duchy Originals Food company was a wholly owned subsidiary of Duchy Originals.

The Duchy Originals company did not manufacture Duchy Originals products until 2006, when the Duchy Originals Food company opened a factory in Launceston in Cornwall. The factory made both sweet and savoury pastry products. The factory made a loss of £447,158 in the financial year 2006/7.[12]

The bakery in Launceston was sold in 2009. This contributed towards the Duchy Originals company making a loss for 2009-10.[13]


The company was the subject of controversy, in which leading UK scientists say Duchy Originals promotes its herbal remedies with scientifically unsound claims. Edzard Ernst, the UK's first professor of complementary medicine, said Duchy Originals detox products are "outright quackery".[14]


  1. ^ a b c About Duchy Originals
  2. ^ a b "Duchy Originals - THE NEW FACE OF BRITISH ORGANIC FOOD". Duchy Originals. 2010-08-02. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  3. ^ "Duchy Originals - Where to Buy". Duchy Originals. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  4. ^ a b "Duchy Originals has joined forces with Waitrose". Waitrose. 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  5. ^ "Charities to benefit as Duchy Originals joins forces with Waitrose". Duchy Originals. 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  6. ^ a b c "Why Prince Charles's Duchy Originals takes the biscuit". The Daily Telegraph. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Prince Charles' Duchy Originals food firm launches herbal remedy range, Daily Mail, 16 December 2008
  8. ^ "Duchy Originals Ltd Accounts 2006/7.". 
  9. ^ "Duchy Originals Products in Canada". The Prince's Charities Canada. 22 November 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  10. ^ Harry Wallop (2010-02-10). "Telegraph.co.uk - Prince of Wales's Duchy Originals slumps to loss". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  11. ^ "Waitrose gives £2.8m to Prince's charities: Record sales of Duchy Originals fund bumper contribution". The Daily Mail. 2 January 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "Duchy Originals Foods Ltd Accounts 2006/7.". 
  13. ^ Dean Best (2010-02-11). "Just Food -UK: Duchy Originals reports loss as sales slump". Aroq Ltd. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  14. ^ Prince Charles detox 'quackery', BBC News, 10 March 2009

Further reading[edit]

  • Acton, Johnny & Sandler, Nick (2006) Duchy Originals Cookbook. London: Kyle Cathie ISBN 1-85626-653-2