Sources claim that Aldi and Lidl are positioning themselves as the new face of British produce. Lidl UK’s chief executive Ryan McDonnell said last week: “The farmers and producers that supply us, some of which have been with us for decades, are paramount to the success of our business.” The grocer announced that it would be spending £2 billion more than planned on buying British in the coming years. Aldi, in turn, has pledged to spend an extra £3.5 billion a year with UK suppliers by the end of 2025.
The discounters have been keen to send a message: while other supermarkets are squeezing farmers on prices, Aldi and Lidl are looking out for Britain’s food and drink producers. Clive Black, an analyst at Shore Capital, says both the German discounters have been “very switched on in trying to align with domestic supply as much as possible. They know that, as German discounters, they need to win over certain hearts and minds in the UK. And, really, the supply chain understands the scale of these companies and increasingly needs Aldi and Lidl.”