Waitrose Expands Cooks’ Ingredients Private Brand Range

UK based grocer Waitrose is introducing new products to its popular Cooks’ Ingredients private brand in November – a host of new shortcuts and ingredients to help home cooks experiment with key culinary trends.

New to the range is a cuttlefish ink, a supermarket exclusive, which is a popular ingredient in risottos and pasta. Similar to squid ink, it gives dishes a distinctive black hue and subtle briny flavors that work particularly well with seafood.

Designed for home cooks and bakers, the range is a selection of single ingredients, blends, pastes, sauces, kits and more, to make cooking a range of cuisines as simple as possible. Inspired by countries across the globe, the Cooks’ Ingredients range now includes key elements of dishes from Mexico, West Africa, Japan, and Vietnam as well as some exciting new baking products.

Highlights in the new range include:


Cuttlefish Ink  £3.50/90g
A natural black dye with delicate briny flavors, great in paella, risotto or pasta.

Barbecoa Seasoning £2.39/50g
A common cooking technique used within Mexican cuisine, barbacoa traditionally refers to steam-cooking underground. More recently, the term applies to slow-cooking meats for pulling, to fill tacos and tortillas. This versatile spice blend – a mix of smoked paprika, ancho chili, Mexican oregano, chili, chipotle and cloves – is also delicious sprinkled over a steak.

Tinga Seasoning £2/52g
This smoky seasoning originates from Central Mexico and is made with ancho chili, chipotle, tomato, cumin and lime. Cook with chicken, shred the meat and serve on a tostada with refried beans for a delicious meal.

Mexican Trio Chilli Paste £1.50/95g
Dried chilies are a staple in Mexican cooking and this ‘Holy Trinity’ of Mexican chili peppers is a must-have for traditional dishes. Pasilla (dark green, medium heat, rich-tasting), Ancho (mild and fruity) and Mulato (medium chili heat with undertones of chocolate) make up the blend which works well in a Mole Poblano, the ancient, national dish of Mexico. It is also great on cheese on toast!

Chermoula £1.75/95g
A Moroccan blend of coriander, cumin, ginger, preserved lemon, garlic and oil, chermoula is a versatile condiment, lending itself to marinades, dressings or simply served with tagine.

Jollof Rice Paste £1.79/185g
A one-pot rice dish popular in West African countries and often served with chicken and fried plantain – just add, onion, passata, stock, and rice.

Tamari Soy Sauce £2.95/150ml
A gluten-free Japanese soy sauce made with fermented soybeans which is great for adding savory, umami flavors to dishes.

Fermented Black Bean Paste £1.50/95g
Used widely in Asian cooking to add rich savory and umami flavors, this paste is a building block in Chinese cuisine. Add to stir-fries to boost flavor or dilute with sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and grated ginger for a dipping sauce.

Satay Sauce £2/180g
Originating from Indonesia, satay is a nutty blend of peanuts, coconut milk, soy, tamarind, lemongrass, galangal, and sesame. Great for marinades & dips.

Citrus & Soy Sauce £2.09/180g
A blend of soy, rice vinegar, lime & ginger, this sauce is popular in South East Asian cooking and is a great base for Sisig (a Filipino dish) or Dan dan noodles.

Rendang Paste £2.60/190g
This rich, spicy paste works as a base to create a delicious stew, which goes brilliantly with beef. A blend of lemongrass, red chili, galangal, kaffir lime, cinnamon, star anise and toasted coconut, it’s best served with a squeeze of lime to accentuate the flavors.

Vietnamese Ca Ri Ga Paste  £2.09/180g
A Vietnamese version of a curry stew – spicy and fragrant. Serve with chicken, potatoes & carrots for a hearty dish. Mop up leftovers with crusty bread.

Jackfruit £1.99/410g
A vegetarian replacement for pulled meats, it’s perfect served in a taco or in chili.


Espresso Coffee Icing £2/400g
Made with Brazilian coffee extract, this icing is the perfect shortcut for coffee and walnut cakes.

Pistachio Paste £3.99/90g
A paste for sweet and savory cooking. A smooth blend of roasted pistachio, great for both spreading over lamb or mixing into ice cream.

Hazelnut & Almond Paste £3.99/90g
A smooth blend of hazelnuts and almonds, great for making truffles and filling cannoli.

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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.