UK Supermarket Tesco Introduces Vegan Food to the Meat Aisle…

Tesco’s move to house plant-based meat alternatives in the meat aisle is certainly one to divide opinion. We think it’s a good idea. Hear us out.

Beyond Meat toad in the hole

From April  2019, both meat and their vegan versions will share space in the same fixture at bigger Tesco stores throughout the UK, including products from Heck, Vivaris, Beyond Meat and Vegetarian Butcher. The hope is that the ever-growing number of flexitarians and meat-reducers will opt to purchase vegan versions of traditional favourites.

Our good friend Derek Sarno, Tesco’s Director of Plant-Based Innovation, says:

“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.”

Progress Means Change

According to research from Kantar Worldpanel (Feb 2019), 1% of all households in the UK include a vegan, 5% a vegetarian, and 10% include a flexitarian.

Even more interesting, is the fact that 92% of plant-based meals were eaten by non-vegans in the UK, during 2018, states Kantar Insights 2018. And let’s not forget the Veganuary effect – a whopping 150 million more meat-free dinners were sold in Veganuary 2019, compared to the previous January (Kantar Worldpanel Feb 2019).

Things are certainly changing. And with more vegans raising awareness to the plight of animals, more cited research indicating the myriad benefits of saying au revoir to animal products, and the detrimental impact that animal agriculture has on the environment – we have the chance to really make a difference. If we all work together.

Looking at the Bigger Picture

We know that many vegans and vegetarians certainly don’t relish the idea of walking down the meat aisle, and we totally understand – it’s not our scene either but we need to look at the bigger picture. The majority of us come from non-vegan backgrounds (although it’s sometimes hard to imagine life pre-vegan!). And what’s the one thing we all say about going vegan?

I wish I’d done it sooner.

Well, moves like Tesco’s decision to place plant-based meat alternatives alongside their animal counterparts can actually help people to make the positive steps towards veganism a lot sooner. Imagine someone on a whim deciding to pick up a Beyond Meat burger instead of a beef burger because they read about it somewhere online… and then imagine them taking it home to cook for dinner, and absolutely loving everything about it. Now imagine where their train of thought could go to next…

Reducing their meat consumption, going dairy-free, becoming vegetarian, learning about the egg and dairy industries…signing up to Veganuary to find out more…

Vegan journeys all have to start somewhere. And maybe, just maybe, some of them will start in Tesco.

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