UK retailer Sainsbury’s, has announced that it plans to sell meat alternatives alongside animal meat in 20 stores around the UK. The decision comes as more people are opting for meat alternatives, and the consumption of meat must be reduced to meet climate targets and help the environment.
The decision aims to spark the interest of non-vegans, rather than those who have already decided to switch to a plant-based diet. It is believed that 91 per cent of Brits follow a flexitarian diet – meaning they eat meat-free products day-to-day or during the week.
Speaking about the decision, Rosie Bambaji, plant-based buyer at Sainsbury’s, said: “We’re seeing increasing demand for plant-based products, and with the unstoppable rise of flexitarianism in the UK, we are exploring further ways to make popular meat-free options more accessible.
“We hope that this trial will make our customers’ shopping experience even more seamless, and we’re looking forward to hearing their feedback.”
Sainsbury’s will be placing meat-free burgers, sausages, mince next to animal meat, following the success of a trial in October 2018. The trial last year saw Naturli’s mince and burgers located next to beef mince and burgers.
Sainsbury’s have reported an 82 per cent increase in customers searching for vegan products online and a 65 per cent increase in plant-based products, year on year.
Speaking to The Telegraph, James Hamilton, another plant-based buyer for the retailer commented that the new section is opening in response to a decline in meat sales across the industry.
“We were looking at is as a business challenge we will face in the future – if we sell less and less meat, what do you backfill it with?,” Hamilton said. “So, we are supplementing our ranges with alternatives proteins and plant-based ranges. We are interested to see what happens.”
He added: “The general market dynamic is that meat is on the decline. This is a way of giving people more choice and new ideas.”