Tesco: Veggie burgers next to the meat

Vegan Beyond Burger with fries
Photo: Tesco

At Tesco, real meat and meat substitutes will now be found side by side. The British supermarket chain has noticed that vegan is the biggest food trend of the decade, so they're launching a new meat counter where the two can be found next to each other.


Veggie meat: not just for vegans

Today, one percent of all households includes a vegan, five percent a vegetarian and ten percent a flexitarian, according to a Kantar study. Thanks in part to campaigns such as 'Meat-Free Mondays', 21 percent of all British households have decreased their meat intakes and in 'Veganuary 2019', 150 million more meat-free meals were sold than during the same campaign month in any previous year.

The flexitarian group is the biggest grower: in the UK, 92 percent of plant-based meals consumed in 2018 were eaten by non-vegans. "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," says Derek Sarno, who has been appointed as director of 'plant-based innovation' at Tesco.


“Retail must adapt”

"The rise of eating more plant-based food and people becoming flexitarian is having a massive effect on the way many people shop and … the retail industry is having to adapt," believes Sarno. "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."

That's why larger Tesco supermarkets now have a new refrigerated cabinet in the meat department, which includes vegan and vegetarian products from such brands as Heck, Vivera, Beyond Meat and The Vegetarian Butcher alongside real meat. According to Tesco, the best way to promote health and sustainability is to encourage customers to eat more vegetables, less meat and more plant-based alternatives.

Albert Heijn reached the same conclusion a year ago and also decided to present meat and vegetarian products side by side. The supermarket tried to make the step towards vegetarianism easier through the "Flexi-Vlaanderen' campaign.