He said: "We will be looking to build on our reputation as the destination supermarket for quality beers and maintain our strong emphasis on
"Quality and provenance will be the key words at Waitrose as we seek to have beers and ciders on our shelves that customers will recognise as leaders in their categor ies."
Whelpton has joined the supermarket from Innocent Drinks' This Water section, where he was commercial manager, and has also worked as a buyer for Sainsbury's
buying ale, stout and cider. He replaces Steve Wallace
and will report to beer, spirits and tobacco central buyer Giles Fisher.
He told OLN he
was looking forward to a summer of growing cider sales and "interesting" beer promotions. "Euro 2008 will be an interesting period as many brewers will have been banking on England to qualify to drive their summer sales
- and their failure to do so should mean some highly interesting alternative campaigns," he said.
Imported beers will also be a focus for Whelpton.
A Waitrose spokeswoman said: "His role will continue to build on the reputation for value, quality and innovation in the beer and cider ranges at Waitrose."
Waitrose was named Multiple Beer Retailer of the Year at the OLN Drinks Retailing Awards 2008.