A family-run Orkney bakery has won a contract worth more than £175,000 to supply Aldi with shortbread after winning the discounter’s search for Scotland’s ‘Next Top Product’. 

From February 2016, Argo’s Bakery’s Caramel Shortbread will be sold in 62 Scottish Aldi stores under the low-cost grocer’s Specially Selected brand.

The double butter Belgian chocolate drizzled shortbread (RSP: £1.69/five biscuits) fought off competition from more than 100 contenders to secure the listing.

Founded in 1945, the fourth-generation family bakery currently employs 50 members of staff – it now expects to take on an extra three employees to cope with demand.

“It’s a huge honour for us and we’re really excited about the prospect of Aldi customers throughout Scotland having the chance to enjoy what is a real Orkney favourite,” said Argo’s business development manager Jenna McDill. “Working with Aldi has been a fantastic experience and we look forward to seeing our Orkney Caramel Shortbread in their stores very soon.”

The competition formed part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, a Scottish government initiative supported by various tourism and trade bodies. The shortlisted products were put to the test by Jonathan Neale, Aldi’s joint managing director for corporate buying, and James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink.

Neale described the level of entries as ‘exceptionally high’. “Our business model in Scotland has always been about working with the best local producers to bring top quality products to our customers at everyday low prices,” he said. “The Next Top Product competition has been a fantastic way to bring this to life and we’ve uncovered some really exciting producers and a wealth of delicious food and drink during this process.”

Withers added: “Aldi’s Next Top Product competition is a great addition to this joint, collaborative work, demonstrating Aldi’s desire to offer a strong range of Scottish products for their customers.”