SUPERMARKET giant Aldi has opened applications to find its next top Scottish product.

The Next Top Product campaign has been relaunched as part of the supermarket’s commitment to uncover new brands and increase the range of Scottish produce currently stocked on its shelves.

The winning product will be launched as an in-store Specialbuy in 91 stores across the country during the Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight later this year, with the potential to stay on as a long-term supplier if successful.

Graham Nicolson, group buying director for Aldi, 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.

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“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.”

Previous winners of the award – and now long-term suppliers of Aldi – include Inverness-based Cobbs Bakery and Orkney’s Argo’s Bakery.

Argo’s Bakery later went on to win Own Label Product of the Year and Bakery Product of the Year at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Scotland Food & Drink chief executive James Withers said: “We’re very pleased to be able to support this exciting initiative.

“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.”