The four things you need to know if you want to get your product into Lidl, according to Richard Inglis, senior buying manager.

Despite admitting to getting “hundreds” of emails a week, Inglis, who is responsible for all the buying of baked goods for Lidl, told British Baker it’s the best way to get his attention.

But for those wanting to stand out from the crowd, he gave us four hints to keep in mind when getting in touch:

-        “You don’t have to be a huge supplier to get into Lidl – we like smaller operations because they are able to be more focused. The vast majority of our suppliers started off small, and are now big operations because we worked together to create a product we were both happy with.”

-        “Regional and seasonal products are definitely in with a shot, because they are what we’re all about.”

-        “Write an email, send samples, all the normal stuff that you know and have heard before, but do it, because we respond to every single one.”

-        “It may seem like a ‘no’ when we say ‘we’ll keep you on file’, but in reality it is far from it. I have a folder for every single product – a hard copy and a digital version, and I promise you every time we consider stocking a new product I pick up that file and I go through it one email at a time. No means not right now, it does not mean not ever – you have absolutely nothing to lose by being in touch.”

He added that suppliers that want to be stocked nationwide do have to be able to cope with the larger demand, but that smaller operations are “in no way ruled out”.