The supermarket said it hoped the move would uncover and list new products from small and medium-sized food and drink businesses.
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 led to Penrhos Gin, a Herefordshire-based fruit farmer turned craft gin distillery, having its product stocked in Aldi stores nationwide. The 18,000-bottle order was the largest of its kind for the distillery.
“The biggest challenge for small craft distillers like us is breaking out of the local 40-mile radius," said Charles Turner, farmer, distiller, and co-founder of Penrhos Gin. "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: “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. It has invested an extra £1.6bn with British suppliers since the start of the pandemic, including £125m 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 £3.5bn a year with British businesses by the end of 2025.