Lidl is testing a new promotional strategy that enables it to showcase innovative products from bakery suppliers.

The retailer has introduced a scheme that will see four new bakery products go on sale in all 710 Lidl stores nationwide for an eight-week period.

The initiative mirrors the Lidl non-food promotional strategy where products such as paddling pools or power tools are brought in for short cycles.

“We need to have a tight and efficient range in bake-off, but at the same time we want to bring in innovative products,” Lidl senior buying manager Richard Inglis told British Baker.

“These rotating spaces encourage innovation from our suppliers and, at the same time, give customers something new to try. We can then cherry-pick the gems as new permanent lines.”

One of the initial special products is a Portuguese pastel de nata tart, which has done so well it may become a permanent feature, he said.

A promotional programme of eight-week slots has been put in place until the end of the year, with a final four-week promotional slot over Christmas, he said.

“We had a great response from our suppliers to this, they got on board with lots of new ideas when we asked them to come to us with innovative products,” Inglis commented.

Lidl has also revealed new Christmas lines being introduced this year, including a festive spiced boule from Délifrance. The supplier won an award in the British Baker Christmas Stars competition last year with a similar product, and Inglis said he asked Délifrance to develop the product after reading about the win in British Baker.

Speculoos spiced shortbread flavour would be a key ingredient in some of Lidl’s latest bakery products in the run-up to Christmas, added Inglis.