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Society & Culture

Aldi’s Next Big Thing | Entrepreneurship, Scaling-up, Supermarkets, Food & Drink, Stormzy, Channel 4 | Chris Bavin

April 2, 2024

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It is truly a pleasure to welcome Chris Bavin, Co-host of Aldi’s Next Big Thing on Channel 4.

In this episode, I sit down with  Chris Bavin to discuss; The Role of Programmes like Aldi’s Next Big Thing, Life As A Former Greengrocer, The Difficulties of Scaling Up, Advice Gained From Working On The Show, Self-Belief & Work/Life Balance.

Aldi’s Next Big Thing returns to screens following the success of the first series in 2022, where 36 small food and drink suppliers bid for the game-changing opportunity to stock their products in Aldi stores across the UK. 


Winners have included young farmers, Charlie and Laurie Fermor of Freddie’s Farm, who described landing the Aldi contract as “like winning the lottery for a small business’” and Howard Kinder from Malton Brewery who said: “appearing on the show was absolutely life-changing”. 


As well as dinners, this year’s six-part series will see contestants showcase products in categories such as healthy and wholesome, bakery, party, world, and confectionery.

Viewers will see chef to the stars, ‘Chef Vickz’ pitch client Stormzy’s favourite to Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, Julie Ashfield.


Chef Vickz, from South-East London, has been a personal chef to Stormzy, amongst other clients, for six years, since qualifying in Patisserie and Confectionary at the University of West London.


She says: “Stormzy was looking for a chef and I got put forward, that’s how it all started… This Mac & Cheese is his favourite dish.


“It’s special as it’s made with short rib, which has been slow roasted for a very long time.


“It would be the opportunity of a lifetime to have my product in Aldi, I want to be able to cook for thousands.”


Multi award-winning rapper and singer-songwriter Stormzy will send his well wishes to the chef via a cameo on the show: “Vick we’re rooting for you, we love you, you’re the best. Hurry up and get back…I’m hungry!”


Aldi’s Next Big Thing is available to watch on Channel 4 every Tuesday at 8pm for six weeks from 2nd April.



Also appearing on the first episode of Aldi’s Next Big Thing is: 

  • Halal Wagyu Pastrami – Wolverhampton

Brothers and third generation butchers, Adnaan and Manny are hoping their halal take on wagyu pastrami will make it onto the shelves of Aldi. Inspired by the British classics they saw on TV growing up, but couldn’t eat as they weren’t halal, the brothers chose to specialise in cured meat alternatives such as beef bacon, halal wagyu pastrami and lamb ham.

  • Rainbow Burgers – East Sussex

Leo of Leonati Catering is hoping his colourful burgers will catch the judge’s eyes. Leo prides himself on working with local suppliers and ensuring his beef is grass fed and organically reared, just as nature intended.

  • Vegan Toad in the Hole – Manchester

Tired of missing out on their favourite part of a roast dinner – the Yorkshire pudding – vegan couple, Lauren and Sophie set up Mabel’s kitchen, offering egg and dairy-free takes on British dinner-time classics. The pair, who are passionate about animal welfare, sustainability and making switching to plant-based alternatives easy for all, are hoping to impress with their dairy-free take on the humble toad in the hole.

  • Pasta Bombs – Cumbria

Ex-restaurant chef, Lee, is hoping his ingenious Pasta Bombs, which use off cuts of ground charcuterie, intended to add a hint of ‘umami’ to dishes, will wow the judges. Lee honed his twenty years of experience working in award-winning restaurants, to set up his free-range farm and zero-waste smokehouse with his wife Rochelle, producing ethical, 100% British and prize-winning charcuterie for the local community.

  • Crabulous Crabcakes – Southampton

Hayley or ‘The Codmother’ as she’s affectionally known, is hoping to win the judges hearts hook, line and sinker, with her zero-waste, Great Taste award-winning crabcakes. Hayley got the idea to create her sustainable fish and crabcake business, after working with a group of fishermen, helping them to sell their surplus brown crab meat.

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