Online grocer Ocado is testing a ratings and reviews section for shoppers to rate food products, which it claims is a first for a UK supermarket.

Ocado has released the ratings and reviews option to a limited number of customers who shop regularly with the grocer; it will go live to all shoppers next month.

The system, implemented by Bazaarvoice, allows customers to rate products out of five and leave written reviews. The service will cover all of its 21,000 products - including partner Waitrose’s own-label products and branded groceries - plus its non-food range including toys, kitchenware and flowers.

Tesco and Sainsbury’s both provide review sections for their non-food products, but not for food.

Ocado head of retail Jon Rudoe said the move is part of the grocer’s plan to “make the shopping process as easy and engaging as possible” and fits with its other services including its iPhone application - which now accounts for 3% of total sales - and Ocado Reserve, which allows shoppers to book the same delivery slot each week. He said Amazon uses the service but “we think we’re the first among the supermarkets”.

Ocado shoppers will also be encouraged to share reviews with friends and family using social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.

Rudoe said the reviews will also help it decide on future ranges.

Ocado is among several retailers considering an IPO this year, including New Look, Supergroup and DFS. The grocer reported like-for-like sales in the week to December 26 soared 49% to £8.9m.

Separately, grocery research house IGD has forecast UK shoppers will spend £7.2bn on food and grocery shopping online by 2014 - nearly double last year’s figure.