Changing shopping habits prompt Tesco to offer new vegan foods in the meat aisle

It's become the biggest food diet trend of the decade and now it's having a marked effect on British shopping habits.

From Monday April 8, flexitarians, who eat both meat and plant-based alternatives, will be able to find both next to each other in a new fixture in the meat aisle at larger Tesco stores.

The move comes as more and more Brits reduce their meat consumption, either turning to a vegan or vegetarian diet or becoming flexitarian.

As a direct result of this and the popularity of campaigns like ‘Meat-Free Mondays’ 21 per cent of UK households have reduced their meat intake (Kantar Worldpanel April 2018).

Other stats also show that shoppers’ needs are changing:

  • Today one per cent of all households include a vegan; five per cent a vegetarian and 10 per cent a flexitarian (Kantar Worldpanel Feb 2019)
  • 150 million more meat free dinners were sold in Veganuary 2019 versus Veganuary 2018 (Kantar Worldpanel Feb 2019)
  • 92 per cent of plant-based meals were eaten by non-vegans in the UK in 2018 (Kantar Insights 2018)

Derek Sarno, Tesco’s Director of Plant-Based Innovation said:

“The rise of eating more plant-based food and people becoming flexitarian is having a massive effect on the way many people shop and as a result the retail industry is having to adapt.  

“We are seeing a new kind of shopper - more conscious of their own health and the environment and perfectly happy to make dietary changes such as becoming vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian to achieve those aims.

“Plant-based alternatives in general have become so high in quality that most life-long meat eaters are now including these foods as part of their diet. It makes sense to range them next to each other in the same aisle and bring a wider breadth of options available to choose from.”

Included in the new fixture will be vegan and vegetarian food products by established names such as Heck, Vivera, Beyond Meat and Vegetarian Butcher.

Tesco believes the single biggest impact it can make in promoting health and sustainability in the next decade is through taste by encouraging shoppers to enjoy a diet of eating more vegetables, less meat and more plant-based alternatives.

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