A new partnership between U.K.-based restaurant chain YO! Sushi and British retailer Tesco suggests sushi’s popularity is growing in the United Kingdom.
By way of the partnership, YO! Sushi plans to open manned kiosks in two Tesco Extra stores, marking the first time the 74-storefront franchise has made its to-go products available outside its restaurants. Shoppers at the two Tesco stores will also be able purchase YO! Sushi products at the front counter.
Tesco joins a host of other U.K. retailers that are expanding their sushi-offering capacities. For example, Mark and Spencer opened its first in-store counter with sushi specialist Wasabi last October, and now has five stores testing the concept, according to media tech firm IDG. Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, and other retailers have also bulked up their sushi output, utilizing Sushi Gourmet and Sushi Daily’s sushi counter concessions.
“Sushi is a specialist food-to-go product which has grown rapidly in popularity in the U.K. in recent years. Tesco is the latest major supermarket retailer to develop its sushi offer by partnering with a specialist operator,” IDG said.
Partnering with sushi specialists offers retailers an “easy, credibly branded, premium positioned solution which brings theatre into stores, creating another reason for shoppers to visit,” IDG added.
For Yo! Sushi, the Tesco partnership is an important step in “maximizing value from its acquisition of supermarket sushi supplier Taiko Foods in April this year,” IDG wrote.
Taiko Foods supplies sushi and Asian to-go fare to Waitrose and other grocery chains.