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Thoughts from November 2008

veg pots - an update

Vpot[1]

It's been a bit busy in veg pot land recently. To be honest, they're selling better than we could have imagined, so most of our time is taken up with making more. But we just wanted to quickly let you know what's happening in a few areas, and reply to all of the comments (mainly in response to this post) in one fell swoop.

Where you can buy them:

- We're in about two thirds of all Waitrose stores. They decide which stores (not us), so if they're not in your local store or they've sold out, please ask a Waitrose person to order you some.

- We're also in a lot of Sainsbury's main stores now (as of 3 weeks ago) and will be in many Sainsbury's Local stores from November.

- We'll be in Tesco from the end of December, and we're working on other places as we speak.

- In Northern Ireland we're currently only in a few stores – Sainsbury's in Forestside, Holywood Exchange, Sprucefield, Newry and Dungannon. We're working on the rest.

Vegan/Vegetarian:

We've had lots of vegans asking us to make a vegan recipe. If you eat honey then you can eat the Moroccan recipe. Otherwise, none of them are suitable for vegans. The good news is we are working on a solution. The bad news is that it may take us a couple of months to get it made and into the shops, but should be out early next year.

Vegetarians - three of the recipes are suitable for vegetarians. The Thai one isn't because it has fish sauce in.

We tried loads of ingredients instead of the fish sauce, because we'd rather everyone could eat it, but it made such a difference to the taste that we stayed with the traditional ingredient.

Some people hadn't seen this on the packaging so we've changed the packaging to make it clear on the top that it contains fish sauce. And we take your point about the 'not suitable for strict vegetarians' comment, that was rubbish, we've changed that too. It should take a month for new packaging to be in the shops.

Dairy-free/Wheat-free:

A couple of you asked for dairy-free versions. The Thai and the Moroccan are dairy-free.

The Thai and the Pea & Rice recipes are wheat-free.

Price:

We're funding a lower launch price to start with because it's a bit cheeky to ask people to pay full price for a product they haven't tried yet. This is also why we put up some sampling stands, which you may have seen in Sainsbury's or Waitrose/John Lewis stores, so people can try before they buy. After this time, the veg pots do go back up to the full price of £3.49. The price is driven by the amount and quality of the ingredients and we don't want to make them worse to make them cheaper. We're going to stick with these products for now, but we'll try to have them on regular offers so you can get some cheaper ones or try new flavours.

Recipe suggestions:

Thank you for all the recipe comments. It seems that people like the four launch recipes on the whole, but we're definitely listening to what you say and we're making some tweaks. We'd better get on with it.

Of course, if there's anything else you need to know about our veg pots, then just post a comment and we'll try to answer.