Aldi Süd launches What’s Next programme to accelerate product innovation

Maxime Delacour
Senior Retail Analyst

Date : 22 July 2020

Aldi Süd has launched a new programme, called What’s Next. It aims to support startups and companies with innovative ideas. The objective is to accelerate the development of new products that are aligned with the latest trends.

What is the What’s Next programme?

The new programme was launched in early 2020. Aldi Süd is looking for startups and companies with innovative food and non-food product ideas. It encourages businesses to present their ideas and products with the promise of an opportunity of a listing at Aldi stores.

The retailer’s product and quality teams will support the development of promising ideas to help the companies get started in food retailing. Aldi has made it clear it will preserve the independence and creativity of these businesses despite its involvement.


Source: Aldi


How does it work?

Any startup or company looking for a listing at a retailer or as they look to bring an innovative idea to life can send an application to Aldi Süd via a dedicated webpage. Before sending the application, a self-assessment checklist enables companies to understand the minimum criteria for quality and production standards, which are required by the discounter.


Source: Aldi


If successful, the company and Aldi will start production and trading discussions to plan the future listing and launch of the product.

Some innovative food and drinks launched so far

Here is a selection of several products that have been launched at Aldi Süd in June and July 2020. According to the retailer, all have been selected for their unique recipes, ingredients and added value for shoppers.

High protein ice cream bars from Austrian startup Frozen Power. The startup was created by a former Olympic athlete who was looking to create an ice cream that provides both taste and good nutritional values. The bars are a combination of high protein ice cream and a gluten-free biscuit base, which is coated with sugar-free chocolate.

Iced tea made with natural and wild weeds. Egger Getranke launched a new brand of natural iced tea called Unkraut, which had no added sugars and is low in caloriesThe teas, made with wild weeds, are mixed with fresh fruit juices to create unique flavours, such as red clover with apples and dandelion with pear. Sustainability was key for the company as Markus Waldbaue, head of sales, explains: "It was important to us from the start to produce our weed tea drinks in a climate-neutral way".

Collagen protein drinks developed by German brand and company Maluma. The drinks have high levels of vitamins and proteins and are low in calorie. They target shoppers looking for convenience and healthy products, who are aiming to improve their health and wellness.


Source: Aldi


Why is it important?

Thanks to the What’s Next programme Aldi is accelerating the development of its assortment to better align with shopper needs. It is also doing this by employing limited levels of investment. The listed products meet with the latest shoppers’ expectations for more sustainable and natural products and also for local sourcing. 

It enables the retailer to add products that offer differentiation, while also potentially allowing them to ask suppliers for exclusivity. It will increasingly help the discounter to build an image of a retailer offering innovative products and help it compete more directly with other major retailers, such as Edeka and Rewe.

If the programme is a success, the branded products could be exported to other markets where Aldi operates in Europe and beyond. The discounter could also roll this concept out to other countries, to strengthen its sourcing of innovative and local products.

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