ALDI's Next Big Thing 2023036

From left: Chris Bavin, Julie Ashfield and Anita Rani

A TV show in which suppliers pitch for a listing in Aldi is returning to Channel 4 for a second series at 8pm on Tuesday 2 April. 

Aldi’s Next Big Thing will once again be hosted by Anita Rani and former greengrocer Chris Bavin, while Aldi UK buying MD Julie Ashfield will weigh up the merits of each supplier’s products.

Each episode of the six-part show, which was recommissioned for its second series last year, will see six contestants whittled down to two. The finalists will be given time to address feedback before Ashfield chooses a winner to gain a temporary listing as a ‘Specialbuy’ in Aldi’s 1,000-plus stores.

Winners in the first series, which aired in 2022, included free-from snacking brand Crave with its Pickled Onion Monster Feet and Smokey Bacon Streakers snacks.

“I’m always looking for quality, but if I can also land something that will surprise our shoppers and keep them coming back for more, that’s the absolute dream,” said Ashfield.

Rani said: “For these small food and drink businesses, winning a contract with Aldi is a potentially life-changing opportunity. Seeing products go from a prototype to supermarket shelves in just a few months, and finding out the stories behind them, has been a really special experience. I’m excited to see viewers’ reactions – I’m sure everyone will love the winning products just as much as we do.”

Bavin said: “As an ex-greengrocer, I know only too well the ups and downs of running your own business. It’s inspiring seeing such an incredible mix of homegrown food and drink suppliers and heartening to know they’re getting the recognition they deserve, by one of the UK’s largest retailers. I can’t wait for viewers to discover the winning products for themselves.”