A small, independent New Forest fishcake maker producing sustainable British fish products has landed a life-changing contract with supermarket Aldi, which will stock her award-winning crab cakes in stores nationwide from today. 

Around seven million viewers tuned in to watch the moment when Hayley Elston of The Fabulous Catch Company was told she had secured the deal on Aldi's Next Big Thing on Channel 4.

The business, based at Calshot, was first created in 2012 to help a group of fishermen on the Isle of Wight sell unwanted brown crab meat, using every edible part to create a zero-waste product.

Bournemouth Echo: The Fabulous Catch Company will appear on Aldi's Next Big Thing on Channel 4

Now it's been catapulted to national fame with The Crabulous Crabcake, a new product created especially for Aldi in response to their request for Hayley to scale up her existing crabcakes while retaining flavour and consistency.

“It’s completely surreal,” said Hayley, who works with her business partner, Michelin-starred chef Herbert Berger, to develop her range of products. “We’ve known for a little while that we were winners but had to keep it under our hats!

“Watching myself on the TV was like experiencing it all over again. Now it’s incredible to know that Crabulous Crabcakes will be sold nationally in Aldi. I’ve had so many messages from friends and well-wishers – I feel like a superstar!

“This all started with a dream to make responsibly-sourced, sustainable fish products available to all – and today I’m pinching myself that the dream has come true.”

Bournemouth Echo: Hayley Elston from The Fabulous Catch Company will appear on Aldi's Next Big Thing on Channel 4

Hayley, who lives in Milford on Sea, moved the business from the Island to the New Forest in 2016 after success at farmers markets. The business has grown steadily since. 

Judges were delighted with the texture and flavour of the crab cakes and chose the Fabulous Catch Company over five other finalists, including rapper Stormzy’s personal chef, to secure an order to supply Aldi with 60,000 units to be rolled out across 960 stores.

The Fabulous Catch Company, our trader of the week last week, and its Crabulous Crabcakes are available in stores now, priced £2.29 for 220g. Shoppers need to be quick for the chance to try them as Specialbuys are always limited.

Aldi's Next Big Thing airs on Channel 4 every Tuesday at 8pm until May 7.