Why is it so important to you that you source Scottish produce?

Scotland is widely renowned for producing some of the finest quality products in the world.  From Aberdeen Angus Scotch Beef to Scottish Smoked Salmon, there are a wide range of Scottish delicacies which we would be doing an injustice to our Scottish customers if we did not offer at everyday amazing value.

We have made a long term commitment to deliver the best of Scottish food and drink to our customers and support the industry.  As a responsible retailer, reducing food miles and supporting the local economy are essential in ensuring we are building a sustainable business.

When the decision was made to create a dedicated Scottish Buying team ten years ago, based in Scotland, to increase the number of Scottish products available to our customers, it was made with the clear strategy that buying Scottish products would not cost the customer any more than buying the same non Scottish product, and this has never been compromised.  The numerous awards that our Scottish range has achieved are testament to the quality of our range, which we couldn’t achieve without our excellent local suppliers.  Our commitment to delivering the best of Scottish produce at everyday amazing value has taken us on a journey over the past ten years; one which over 90 suppliers have now joined us on.  Sourcing Scottish produce is so important to us that we have invested significant time, resource and energy into ensuring that we can deliver on our promises.


Have you received any feedback (positive/negative) from increasingly sourcing Scottish?

Provenance within fresh areas is hugely important to Scottish consumers, we know this through market research and from our customers telling us this.

Over the past five years retail sales of Scottish sourced products have increased by +87% and our Scottish sourced line numbers have increased by +16% since 2016.  People want to know where their food is coming from and have a desire to reduce food miles and support local produce.

Our growth across the year was driven by strong sales of our Scottish ranges underlining the appetite there is from our Scottish consumers to buy local produce. This included record sales of more than 7.8 million individual potato scones, and sales of Scottish milk also reached a record high totalling 28 million litres, enough to fill 11 Olympic swimming pools.

The feedback from both suppliers and consumers is that they are delighted to see our Scottish product range increase and have demonstrated this through their shopping habits.

Aldi is now the sixth largest supermarket in Scotland with a 6.9 percent share of the Scottish grocery market, and in the last year we have attracted more new customers than anyone else, with over 59,000 Scottish shoppers choosing to switch to Aldi (Kantar Data, 52 weeks up to w/e 21 April 2019).


What does it mean to you to have won the Scottish Sourcing award at the Excellence Awards 2019?

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Aldi opening its first store in Scotland and 10 years since the creation of its dedicated Scottish Buying department so it is a very significant year for us.  To be awarded the Scottish Sourcing award is the icing on the cake during our milestone year.

We’re extremely proud to have won the Scottish Sourcing Award this year. Provenance, traceability and sustainability are incredibly important to us at Aldi and we work tirelessly to ensure our stores stock the highest quality, locally sourced produce.

Our success is a testament to the great work delivered by our team here in Scotland to build long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with our Scottish suppliers which has enabled us to continue to grow our Scottish line numbers and our customer base in Scotland.  For this to have been recognised and rewarded is fantastic.


What are the growth plans for you in the following year?

We currently stock a core range which includes over 400 Scottish sourced products from over 90 suppliers and aim to increase this number to over 450 by the end of 2020.  In addition to this we will continue to grow our Scottish sourced seasonal lines and Specialbuy products throughout the year.

Customers can expect to see the in store Scottish range offering increase, while suppliers can take confidence from our commitment to continued growth in Scotland and building long standing supplier relationships.

Since 2014 our store numbers have increased by +50%.  This year we have already opened five new stores, with a further two scheduled to be opened by the end of the year taking our total number of stores in Scotland to 91.  This level of growth is set to continue for years to come.

The current development of our new 196,000 square foot Chiller and Freezer facility at our regional distribution centre in Bathgate is testament to this commitment.  Due for completion in Spring 2020, this expansion will create 200 jobs and allow for further expansion of our Scottish fresh range.


How are you celebrating this Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight?

We will be celebrating our Scottish-sourced products throughout Scottish Food & Drink fortnight, with a focus on our award winners.  In particular, we will be highlighting our premium Scottish Specially Selected ranges, from our Specially Selected Belgian Chocolate Brownies supplied by Cobbs Bakery in Inverness to our Specially Selected Luxury Steak Pies from Brownings the Baker in Kilmarnock.  We will be celebrating our ongoing commitment to Scottish food and drink and the supply base.

We will be celebrating and sharing our quality and sourcing credentials in our Specialbuy leaflet, across our social media channels, regional press and with a bespoke radio advert.


A chat with a supplier

McQueens, a gin distiller based in the Trossachs provides an ideal example of a successful supplier partnership.  We engaged with Dale and Vicky in June 2018 when we approached them to make a colour changing gin for our spirits range.  Within 4 months this product was on our shelves and was creating a media frenzy all over the UK with the opportunity to see (OTS) for this gin alone reaching over 10 million, a phenomenal result.  This led to the colour changing gin being rolled out across all our English and Welsh stores as a special buy (43,000 bottles) and now as a UK wide summer seasonal alongside Pink Gin, and resulted in Aldi paying McQueens £1.5m within our first 14 months of trading.  We have also supported their brand by running a national special on their Sweet Citrus Gin in the national Gin Festival. This successful partnership has assisted McQueens to extend their distillery to cope with additional demand and new gin products are already being investigated to grow this partnership further.  In addition to this partnership greatly benefitting McQueens and their growth plans, it has delivered sales of over £2m which shows a clear benefit for Aldi also.