In response to the rising focus on reducing meat consumption, leading British supermarket chain Tesco has started offering plant-based foods alongside meat selections in its larger stores.
Included in the new fixture, available as of April 8, are vegan and vegetarian food products by brands including Heck, Vivera, Beyond Meat, and Vegetarian Butcher.
The company hopes this move will meet its customers’ changing grocery demands.
According to Tesco, more and more Brits are substituting meat with plant-based alternatives and turning to vegetarian or vegan diets.
The number of ‘flexitarians’, or people who eat both meat and plant-based substitutes, is also growing in the country.
In fact, 21% of U.K. households have cut down on their meat intake, a shift likely due in part to popular campaigns like ‘Meat-free Mondays’, says consumer panel research company Kantar Worldpanel.
This trend has already had an overwhelming influence on commercial sales–150 million more meatless dinners were sold in January 2019 versus the same month the previous year, adds Kantar.
What’s more, its findings show that 92% of plant-based meals were eaten by non-vegans in the UK in 2018.
Derek Sarno, Tesco’s director of plant-based innovation, comments: “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.
“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.
“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.”