The search returns as part of Aldi’s commitment to increase its range of Scottish products to over 500 by the end of 2021.
Applications are now open to find Aldi’s Next Top Product in Scotland. The search will help uncover exciting new products and has been re-launched as part of the supermarket’s commitment to increase the range of Scottish produce currently stocked on its shelves.
The winning product will be launched as an in-store Specialbuy in all 91 stores across the country during Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight later this year, with the potential to enjoy a longer-term listing if successful. Previous winners and now long-term suppliers of Aldi include Inverness-based Cobbs Bakery and Orkney’s Argo’s bakery.
After receiving the award for their Orkney Caramel Shortbread, Argo’s Bakery went on to win Own Label Product of the Year at the 2017 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards and Bakery Product of the Year at the 2018 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards.
Graham Nicolson, group buying director, Aldi Scotland said: ‘The search for Aldi’s Next Top Product is a brilliant opportunity to uncover fresh talent in Scotland’s thriving food and drink sector. In partnership with Scotland Food & Drink, we are very much looking forward to bringing the search back to Scotland and I’d urge any producer, from Lerwick to Lockerbie, large or small, to apply.
‘We are proud to have reached our ambition to stock over 450 Scottish products ahead of our target this year and have since committed to increasing this to over 500 locally sourced products by the end of 2021. Aldi’s Next Top Product will help us unearth some of Scotland’s hidden gems and we can’t wait to see what new and unique products come forward.’
For several years Aldi has led the way with local sourcing and the retailer has built strong relationships with over 90 Scottish suppliers. Last year, the supermarket was crowned Scottish Sourcing Business of the Year at the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards. To aid Aldi’s expanding footprint in Scotland, the supermarket has invested in a new £25 million freezer and chill facility in Bathgate, which will be operational in spring this year.
Scotland Food and Drink chief executive James Withers added: ‘It’s great news that Aldi has decided to bring back their search for Scotland’s Next Top Product this year and we’re very pleased to be able to support this exciting initiative. Having the opportunity to stock a brand-new product on Aldi’s shelves during Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight in September is fantastic exposure for the winning supplier, and as we have seen with previous winners, this can lead to long-term partnerships being formed with the supermarket.
‘This competition is testament to Aldi’s ongoing commitment and investment in Scotland’s food and drink sector. Previous winners Argo’s Bakery and Cobbs Bakery are now long-term suppliers to Aldi and the exposure of being listed on a national retailer’s shelves has been invaluable for their growth. It is a fantastic opportunity and I would encourage any producer who thinks their product has what it takes to apply.”
The deadline for entries is Sunday 29 March.
Scottish businesses can enter the competition by filling out an entry form on the Scotland Food & Drink website www.foodanddrink.scot/Aldi Suppliers must be SALSA (Safe and Local Supplier Approval) accredited and have the appropriate means to supply Aldi’s 91 Scottish Stores to apply. Full list of terms and conditions are available on the website.