Aldi is continuing its commitment to British suppliers with the announcement of ‘Grow With Aldi’, a nationwide competition that will see the supermarket uncover and ultimately stock exciting new products from the UK’s best small and medium food and drink businesses – propelling them into the big time.
The supermarket is calling for applicants to compete for a prized spot on Aldi’s shelves across the country. From bakers and chocolatiers, to cheese makers and alcohol producers and everything in between, shortlisted suppliers will visit the supermarket’s headquarters to showcase their products to an expert judging panel.
After a process of deliberation, the judges will decide on the winning products, which will be launched as Specialbuys in Aldi’s 950 stores.
The launch follows the success of the 2021 Grow With Aldi spirits competition, which saw Penrhos Gin, a Herefordshire-based fruit farmer turned craft gin distillery, have its product stocked in Aldi stores nationwide. The 18,000-bottle order was the largest of its kind for the distillery.
Charles Turner, Farmer, distiller, and co-founder of Penrhos Gin, said: “The biggest challenge for small craft distillers like us is breaking out of the local 40-mile radius. To go from that, to winning Grow with Aldi and being stocked in 950 stores nationwide was a major breakthrough for our business.”
Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK and one of the judging panel, added: “From entrepreneurial farmers with flair in the kitchen to tabletop businesses that are going from strength to strength, we can’t wait to see the best of British food and drink producers.
“More than three quarters of our sales come from British suppliers, and we are constantly exploring ways in which we can further support small local businesses. That’s why we are delighted to be extending Grow With Aldi. To be able to offer a platform to showcase new food and drink products to the nation is incredibly exciting.
“We look forward to working with new suppliers and continuing in our mission to offer shoppers high quality, fresh products at the best possible prices.”
The multi-category competition is part of Aldi’s ongoing commitment to locally sourced products. The supermarket has invested an extra £1.6 billion with British suppliers since the start of the pandemic, including £125 million spent with meat, poultry and dairy farmers in the UK.
Aldi has also reaffirmed its pledge to prioritise home-grown suppliers as it works towards spending an additional £3.5 billion a year with British businesses by the end of 2025.
Read more of the latest industry developments in our new edition: January/February 2022 Single Issue form – International Bakery (in-bakery.com)