A Nottinghamshire couple who makes rum cake in their own home have landed a life changing contract with supermarket Aldi to stock its rum cake in stores nationwide from today (28th October).
Audiences were shocked as Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, declared the rum cake ‘the best product I’ve eaten in the history of products I’ve eaten’ in the judging process on Channel 4 series ‘Aldi’s Next Big Thing’.
In the show, which is hosted by Anita Rani, of Countryfile and BBC Radio 4 and Chris Bavin, of Britain’s Best Home Cook and Eat Well for Less, hopeful suppliers compete for a space on Aldi’s shelves, before Aldi’s Julie Ashfield decides on the winner. From dinner and fresh & deli, to store cupboard essentials and delicious treats, each episode focuses on a different category, with last night’s being the bakery category.
Colin and Paulette fought off stiff competition from Indian Parisian baker, Pastry Pédaleur, a dessert sushi product, gluten-free brownies and decadent doughnuts, to win the lifechanging contract.
The duo, who have a combined total of 25 years’ baking experience between them, have been making rum cake together since 2016. The super moist Caribbean fruit cakes showcased on the show are based on Colin’s mum’s recipe but tweaked over many years to make sure ‘once you have a slice you want another.’
Colin and Paulette had to overcome a number of hurdles to make their rum cake viable for the supermarket’s 970 stores. Having previously made everything in-house (literally), the couple worked with an Aldi supplier to scale up production from around 250 cakes a week to fulfil the lifechanging order of 30,000 cakes.
Colin Harrison, Co-founder, Harrison & Griffiths, says:“It took me a long time to perfect this recipe and of course I was worried outsourcing production it wouldn’t be as good. But we worked with Aldi’s supplier to make sure it was as we wanted and we’re really happy with it. It’s great! We feel like we’re on another planet at the moment.”
Paulette Griffiths, Co-founder, Harrison & Griffiths, says: “I still can’t believe that next time we’re in Aldi waiting at the till we might see someone’s got our cake in their basket. I was joking in the show when I said I might offer to sign it, but I might have to.”
Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, says: “I was absolutely blown away by their product. After the pitch day, I told everyone I met about it. I couldn’t get over how wonderful it tasted. Now I can’t wait for all of our shoppers to try it.”
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.
Harrison & Griffiths Rum Cake is available in stores now, but shoppers need to get in quick to get a chance to try, as with all Specialbuys, once they’re gone, they’re gone!
Aldi’s Next Big Thing airs on Channel 4, every Thursday at 8pm until 24th November.
AND IT INCLUDES A PIGS IN BLANKETS YORKSHIRE PUDDING WRAP!
Aldi has just unveiled its most extensive collection of pigs in blankets to date featuring a range of unique offerings. Shoppers on the hunt for the ultimate festive side are in luck, as along with some returning favourites, Aldi is welcoming brand-new additions to store this Christmas, including a quirky Pigs in Blankets Yorkshire Pudding Wrap.