Sainsbury's is hoping to usurp Waitrose as the destination of choice for foodies looking for "bistro quality" ingredient cheats.

This week, it launched a 60-strong Ingredients for Cooks range which includes Moroccan tagine pastes, coq au vin stockpots, porcini mushroom risotto kits and Julienne sliced chargrilled aubergines in oil into 350 stores. Prices start at 75p for Sainsbury's Signature breadcrumbs and go up to £2.99 for dried porcini mushrooms and paella kits. Each packet features a Try Tip suggesting twists for dishes.

Research by Sainsbury's revealed that even shoppers who loved cooking often struggled to demonstrate their flair midweek due to lack of time.

"The new range helps people cheat their way to culinary success," said range developer Tracey Anderson. "A whole range of meals can be ready in 20 minutes, with our sauces, kits and rubs doing the hard work."

Waitrose has also been increasing its focus on ingredients. It already has a Cooks' Ingredients range but boosted its offering with a 50-strong range of "essential" frozen ingredients in January.