Plant-based revolution: Tesco UK to go vegan “in the meat aisle”

Vegan options need no longer compromise on taste, such as these thick and juicy plant-based burgers
Vegan options need no longer compromise on taste, such as these thick and juicy plant-based burgers

Tesco UK has revealed plans to stock vegan and plant-based meat alternatives alongside traditional meat products, in a move aimed at accommodating the rapidly rising area of "flexitarian" diets, whereby people who do not "identify" as vegan still choose plant-based products for environmental and ethical reasons.



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9 April 2019 | 0

In an unusual move that wholly reflects the rapid rise of vegan eating, Tesco in the UK has revealed it plans to stock plant-based meat alternatives alongside fresh meats. The move comes as more and more consumers worldwide actively reduce their meat intake, whether it’s for dietary, ethical or environmental  reasons.

According to Tesco UK, 1% of all households include a vegan, 5% a vegetarian and 10% a “flexitarian” – one who tends to choose plant-based or vegetarian meals, but still considers themselves a meat-eater. In fact, according to Kantar Insights, a remarkable 92% of plant-based meals eaten in the UK in 2018 were by non-vegans.

According to Derek Sarno, Tesco’s director of plant-based innovation, these habits are having an effect on the way people shop. “As a result,” he says, “the retail industry is having to adapt.

“We are seeing a new kind of shopper,” says Sarno. “They are more conscious of their own health and the environment, and perfectly happy to make dietary changes. Plant-based alternatives in general have become so high in quality that life-long meat eaters are introducing these foods as part of their diet.

“It makes sense for us to range them next to each other in the same aisle,” he said, “in order to make a wider breadth of options available.”

Sarno added it is Tesco’s belief that the single biggest impact possible in promoting health and sustainability in the next decade is by encouraging shoppers to eat more vegetables, less meat and more plant-based alternatives.


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