At the beginning of August, Tesco stores around the UK will stock one of Beyond Meat’s most popular products The Beyond Burger, which has been described as the first plant-based burger that looks, cooks and tastes like beef. Unlike some controversial ‘lab-grown’ meats, it’s free from genetically modified organisms, gluten, and soy, and is made entirely from plants, including beetroot, coconut oil, peas and potato starch. Priced at £5.50 and available in both chilled and a frozen options, they will be stocked shoulder-to-shoulder with animal-based protein in an attempt to reduce meat purchases and boost vegan sales.
The burger – which was originally launched in May 2016 in the US – sold out within an hour in a Colorado store; it is now also available in London’s Honest Burgers chain. The Los Angeles-based start-up has been backed by a wealth of celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio, Bill Gates and former McDonalds chief Don Thompson.
Beyond Meat have had its flag-ship product stocked alongside animal products in 8,000 US grocery stores, as we’ll as being placed on the menu of more that 10,000 restaurants.
Seth Goldman, the Beyond Meat executive chairman commented: “This strategy has proven extremely successful in the US, where we are now selling millions of burgers every month, and we are optimistic we’ll see a similar positive reaction in the UK. We see the growing global demand for delicious, plant-based proteins and are excited to serve that demand in the UK.”
It is estimated that the UK is home to 22 million flexitarians, who enjoy eating meat, yet are making a conscious decision to reduce their meat and dairy consumption. Goldman is enthusiastic about The Beyond Burger’s move, as he inputs: “The UK is a priority market for us – a tremendously exciting one with huge potential and this is just a start.”
Other supermarkets are following the plant-based trend, with retailers such as Iceland introducing the “no-chicken chicken” in September.