A huge congrats to Hayley and the team from The Fabulous Catch Company, who showcased her zero waste crabcakes as part of Channel 4 series ‘Aldi’s Next Big Thing’ presented by Chris Bavin, now in its second season. Hayley was picked from hundreds of applicants competing for the coveted contract to stock Aldi stores nationwide.

From dinners and baked goods to party foods and confectionery, each episode sees hopeful suppliers compete for a space on Aldi’s shelves, before Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, decides on a winner which will appear as a Specialbuy in over 1,000 stores.

Impressing with its flavour, attractive packaging and sustainability credentials, The Fabulous Catch Company’s Crabulous Crabcakes, a Great Taste Award winner, beat five other hopefuls to win the coveted order!

Loaded with tasty, brown crab meat, the cakes include leeks, a smattering of chilli, some fresh parsley, lemon juice and seasoning. Julie agreed the taste was great, but as a four-pack weighing less than Aldi’s twin variety and at double the price of its gastro version, Hayley needed to scale up her product, not lose consistency and deliver in volume if she was to win the order.

Hayley took on board Julie’s feedback and wowed with her revised crabcakes, securing an order to supply Aldi with 50,000 units. Presented as a bigger, twin pack, the judges were delighted with the texture and taste, agreeing the flavour had even managed to surpass the first batch.

Hayley first spotted an opportunity in 2012 when she was asked to help a group of fishermen on the Isle of Wight sell their brown crab waste. Brown crab meat is found in the body of the crab and with a pate-like texture, is often treated as a byproduct, with the white meat favoured for its texture.

Hayley’s mission was to create a ‘sustainable revolution’, supporting the declining British fish industry. It was then that she set up her fish company, using this surplus element to give her fishcakes their fabulous flavour. Having started crafting cakes in 2012, the entrepreneur now has a small fish factory in the New Forest with 12 employees, supplying local farmer’s markets, farm shops and now Aldi.

Hayley Elston, Owner, The Fabulous Catch Company, says: “It’s an amazing feeling to win, I even cried! An absolutely magical moment that will change my business forever. We have worked so hard to get this product where it is today. What started out as helping a group of fisherman deal with their crab waste has led to our products landing in stores across the country – I am utterly delighted!”

Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, says: “Not only did Hayley impress with her crabcakes, which are absolutely delicious, but also with her commitment to reducing food waste. I was impressed at how she took on our feedback, whilst keeping the nuance of what they were to start with. We’ve ended up with a great product, that our shoppers will love.” We love Aldi’s commitment to support British suppliers. Last year, Aldi spent an additional £1.3 billion with British suppliers and growers, and they provide more than three quarters of all items sold in its stores.

The supermarket has also introduced a ‘Best of British’ section to its website, which includes a wide selection of groceries from meat to dairy products and everyday essentials, in a bid to help shoppers support British businesses.

The Fabulous Catch Company’s Crabulous Crabcakes (£2.29, 220g) are available in stores now. But shoppers need to get in quick for chance to try, as with all Specialbuys, once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Aldi’s Next Big Thing airs on Channel 4, every Tuesday at 8pm until 7th May. Even better come and taste their delicious Crab Cakes at this year’s Lymington Seafood Festival!