Waitrose has announced a partnership with Deliveroo as it prepares its ecommerce arm for life without Ocado.

The grocer has unveiled a 12-week trial with the home delivery app, which it said would give “over half a million households” access to Waitrose food delivered to their homes in half an hour or less. 

More than 500 Waitrose products will be available on Deliveroo as part of the trial, which will start on September 1 from stores in Bracknell, Berkshire, and Clifton, Bristol.

The trial will then be further rolled out on September 3 to Surbiton in southwest London, Fitzroy Street in Cambridge and Notting Hill in west London. 

The grocer said that if the 12-week pilot proves successful it would look to “extend the trial into more locations before looking at further opportunities to roll out on a larger scale”.

Waitrose said the Deliveroo trial is designed to complement its own Waitrose Rapid two-hour home delivery service.

These twin services sit alongside its Waitrose.com ecommerce arm, which offers its full shop offer and 160,000 delivery slots a week. 

Waitrose executive director James Bailey said: “We have laid down a marker for our future strategy with the growth of Waitrose.com and Waitrose Rapid, and this gives us another opportunity to give our customers a taste of what the future of convenience shopping could look like for us.

“Our trial with Deliveroo has huge potential to give new and existing customers greater choice and flexibility for when and how they want to shop with Waitrose.” 

The grocer has spent much of the last year looking to supercharge its own ecommerce home delivery business, with former long-term partner Ocado switching across to rival Marks & Spencer from September 1. 

The move also fits into Dame Sharon White’s wider strategic changes at parent John Lewis, which includes eyeing more “commercial partnerships to allow Waitrose to grow efficiently and give customers more convenient access to its products”.