UCLan helps business land deal with Aldi on Channel 4 show

Posted on - 11th May, 2024 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Education, Food & Drink, Preston City Centre, Preston Locations, Preston News, Proud Preston, TV, UCLan, University campus
The newly packaged nut and chocolate clusters. Pic: UCLan
The newly packaged nut and chocolate clusters. Pic: UCLan

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has helped a local business land a major contact with supermarket chain, Aldi.

The university’s Innovation Clinic supported Cluster Club, a Blackburn-based confectionery business with rebranding and new designs for their nut and chocolate snacks.

Yasir Patel, the owner, pitched the products on Channel 4’s ‘Aldi’s Next Big Thing’ and the entrepreneur was chosen as the winner in his category.

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Yasir’s nut and chocolate cluster products flavoured with white chocolate and cranberry, Belgian orange chocolate, and Belgian milk chocolate will now appear as a Specialbuy in more than 1,000 Aldi stores throughout the country.

He said: “I put everything I have into this – money, sweat, time and effort. Landing this contract means I will finally see a return financially I can breathe. All the hard work was worth it, I am a supplier for Aldi. How do I even put that into words? I am living a dream.

“The Innovation Clinic has been pivotal in our success. Firstly, they helped understand the market and our competitors’ products, retail prices and brand messages. 

“This analysis then informed the packaging designs for Cluster Club, which perfectly communicate our own product and brand. It has been a pleasure working with the team and we hope they continue to help other businesses also achieve success.”

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Carl Davies, Lead Industrial/Product Designer in the University’s Innovation Clinic, led the industry-experienced team on this project. They spent a total of 93 hours developing the packaging, thanks to external funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

Carl said: “Yasir came to us in March 2022 for assistance in taking his new product to market.

“After meeting to discuss his needs, the team carried out market research to begin with, to understand the competition and identify areas to achieve distinction.

“Following the findings, we were able to help him focus on his target audience and widen the product’s appeal through delivering a brand re-fresh. Our designers then undertook a creative phase, arriving at the final visually impactful concepts for the product packaging range.

“The working relationship was very effective, and Yasir was very happy with the outcome. We’ve kept in touch so hearing of the overall success was fantastic, and a testament to the many great bodies of work delivered by the Innovation Clinic in helping develop businesses over the last ten years.”

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Cluster Club was approached to go on to the show by Channel 4 after Yasir attended a BBC Good Food show event in Birmingham, showcasing his products.

His products will also feature in Asda stores and Amazon. Yasir plans to create more flavours and produce yoghurt pots and breakfast clusters.

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