Fat Ducks, Foodies & Private Brand

Private Brands take many forms throughout the world an sometimes the most exciting come in the form of exclusive brands or lines, the new line by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal for Waitrose is one such thing. If you are not a pretty serious foodie this may be the first time you have heard Chef Blumenthals name. However his name is whispered in hushed reverent tones along with Adria Ferran of El Bulli, Grant Achatz of Alinea, Daniel Boulud of Daniel and perhaps my favorite Thomas Keller of The French Laundry and Per Se.

The chef, whose Fat Duck restaurant in Berkshire has been voted the third best in the world, has created a range of 20 different products, which will go on sale at Waitrose later this year, with a larger selection of goods in time for Christmas.

According to an article in the English daily the Daily Telegraph:

The deal with Waitrose follows the decision by Heston to star alongside Delia Smith in a series of adverts for the upmarket grocery chain.

This is the first time that Blumenthal has lent his name to any packaged food, and follows in the footsteps of Jamie Oliver, who has a range of pasta sauces, Antony Worrall Thompson, who has stocks and soups and even the Hairy Bikers, who have their own brand of crisps.

Food experts warned the tie up was risky, for such a well regarded chef, with shoppers often cynical of the celebrity connection.

Xanthe Clay, the cookery writer and The Daily Telegraph columnist, said: “Celebrity chef ranges are frequently execrable. But Waitrose has a good track record. It’s good they are encouraging their customers to be more adventurous, but the proof of the pudding, as they say, will be in the eating.”

Blumenthal said he was confident that the dishes would be a hit. He said: “I have been working on the creation of these dishes with Waitrose for some time. Just to confirm these are not packets of food I am putting my name to, these are my recipes with Waitrose, recipes I created.

“We have been working together in the Hinds Head kitchens and also in our development kitchen in Bray, coming up with new ideas and new directions It has been an easy association, Waitrose have done a great job in sourcing from various different producers and they have been exhaustive in their search.”

Rupert Thomas, marketing director for Waitrose said “This brand is a natural progression of our relationship and we know that our customers will love to cook with Heston’s range”.

This is a Private Brand I would love to try, I wonder if I can order from Waitrose.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.