Channel 4 Aldi’s Next Big Thing: Nottingham duo behind Rootiful to appear on TV

Sarah Gaunt and Gavin Youngson presenting their business idea on 'Aldi's Next Big Thing'
Sarah Gaunt and Gavin Youngson, from Nottingham, will feature on Channel 4’s ‘Aldi’s Next Big Thing’ at 8pm on Tuesday, May 7 -Credit:Channel 4

Two Nottingham entrepreneurs with a unique take on a healthy food item will soon appear on a new episode of a popular TV show that could transform their lives. Sarah Gaunt and Gavin Youngson, from Nottingham, will feature on Channel 4’s ‘Aldi’s Next Big Thing’ at 8pm on Tuesday, May 7.

The pair are behind Rootiful, a company specialising in a new take on tofu, where British grown peas, quinoa, lentils and pulses are used in place of soy. Rootiful has four varieties - tikka lentil, sriracha quinoa, BBQ pea, and no flavour - all of which are high in both protein and fibre.

The entrepreneurs were picked from hundreds of applicants to battle for a life-changing contract which would get their product into Aldi stores nationwide. The show will be presented by author and broadcaster Anita Rani and Chris Bavin, of BBC’s The One Show and Eat Well for Less.

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The six-part series will see suppliers compete in a range of categories including dinners and baked goods, as well as exciting new category additions. The competitors' products will be presented to Julie Ashfield, managing director of buying at Aldi UK, who will deliberate on factors such as price, packaging, shopper demand, and the ability to scale up, before shortlisting contestants down to just two.

The finalists will then be given four weeks to address any feedback, with a follow-up home visit from Anita or Chris who will report back their findings to Julie. The three will then taste test the improved products before Julie decides the winner, which will appear as a Specialbuy in more than 1,000 stores.

"What's exciting about this category is the creativity and ingenuity we see," Julie said. "In terms of trends, there's gut health, menopause support, plus advances in plant-based products and functional foods and drinks.

"We're looking for something that ticks the box of healthy and nutritious but also has all the flavour and innovation that our customers love." To find out if Sarah and Gavin’s Rootiful plant protein made it onto Aldi’s shelves, watch Aldi’s Next Big Thing on Channel 4 on Tuesday, May 7.