Surrey business owner Mandira Sarkar, will appear on Channel 4’s ‘Aldi’s Next Big Thing’ on Thursday 20th October.
Mandira owns and runs Mandira’s Kitchen, which produces artisan Indian freezer meals – she was picked from hundreds of applicants competing for a life changing contract to stock Aldi stores nationwide.
Hosted by Anita Rani, of Countryfile and BBC Radio 4 and Chris Bavin, of Britain’s Best Home Cook and Eat Well for Less, the six-part series sees suppliers compete in categories such as dinners, baked goods, treats and store cupboard essentials.
Products are presented to Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, who deliberates on factors such as price, packaging, shopper demand, and the ability to scale up, before whittling contestants down to just two.
The finalists are then given four weeks to address any feedback, before presenting improved products to Julie who decides which product will appear as a Specialbuy in over 970 stores.
Mandira, who started the business as a supper club in her kitchen and now employs 16 women, says: “Food is a very emotive thing and we cook all our meals with a lot of love. Everything is made from scratch, with fresh ingredients – no cans or jars.
“I think it’s high time that people in the UK can easily enjoy authentic Indian food at home, and a contract with Aldi would help us to realise this ambition.”
The multi-category competition is part of Aldi’s ongoing commitment to locally sourced products. Aldi has pledged 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.
To find out if Mandira made it on to Aldi’s shelves watch Aldi’s Next Big Thing on Channel 4, every Thursday at 8pm until 24th November.
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