The ‘Store Cupboard’ episode of Aldi’s Next Big Thing, which follows British food and drink startups looking to become the next big thing, aired on 17 November.
Crave, which launched in 2020, sets out to develop tasty, allergen-free foods. Having started with two successful free-from chocolate bars, Rob then went on to launch the snacks – Pickled Onion Monster Feet and Smokey Flavoured Streakers.
Rob said: “My inspiration for Crave was seeing that so many free-from foods were either bland and boring or firmly focussed on health. I wanted to shake things up, bring bold flavour and a bit of fun.”
After passing the initial assessment rounds, Crave was invited to the Aldi HQ to present products to Julie Ashfield, managing director of buying at Aldi. From there, the brand was selected as a finalist.
The next stage of the process required Rob and the team to come up with a brand-new product, complete with packaging design, within 2 weeks.
Crave’s new product development resulted in a maize snack with a Flamin’ Hot flavour that is, of course, gluten-free, lactose-free and vegan.
At the final, Crave presented the new product and was named the winner of Aldi’s Next Big Thing ‘Store Cupboard’ category. It will appear, alongside the other category winners, as Specialbuys in Aldi stores nationwide.
Commenting on the win, Rob said: “The whole filming experience was surreal! As a startup brand, we were pinching ourselves to even have this opportunity and potential exposure on TV. It’s a money-can’t-buy sort of thing for us, and we were super happy to have got that far!
“The listing in Aldi for us is huge, our biggest order to date and we hope the start of a beautiful relationship!
“The Aldi team have been great to deal with and we like to think they get Crave – what we’re about and what we’re trying to do.
“It goes to show that vegan and free-from can be mainstream. Julie and the team loved the fact that Crave is all about delivering those normal food products that people may be missing out on. They loved our cheeky tone of voice and what we do.”