Veganism is absolutely rising in popularity; an estimated 40% of consumers are trying to include more vegan foods (such as vegan meat substitutes) into daily meals, regardless of whether or not they actually identify as vegan. However, that can be extremely hard to do if your local grocery stores don’t carry any plant-based meat alternatives.
Sainsbury’s, a popular supermarket chain in the U.K., has seen the writing on the wall and has decided to cater to those looking for more ethical and healthy meal options in their lives. They have recently announced their plan to begin merchandising more than two dozen vegan meat substitutes next to their meat counters.
“We’re seeing increasing demand for plant-based products, and with the unstoppable rise of ‘flexitarianism’ in the U.K., we are exploring further ways to make popular meat-free options more accessible,” a spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said. “Through this trial, we hope that by placing meat-alternatives within their own dedicated bay in our meat, fish and poultry aisles, our customer’s shopping experience will become even more seamless.”
With this change, discerning eaters will no longer need to hunt down vegan-friendly meat products; since Sainsbury’s has seen a shocking 82% increase in customers searching for vegan products online, the move to make them more readily available simply makes sense. Beyond those who know what they want and what they’re looking for, some believe that offering vegan options may push those looking for meat in a healthier direction.
“This is a way of giving people more choice and new ideas,” said James Hamilton, a plant-based buyer for the supermarket. “People will even if they didn’t buy it will be thinking — is there a different way of doing things.”
The 26 items displayed at the butcher counter will now include burgers, hot dogs, and plant-based fish options. Since Sainsbury’s is famous for its grab-and-go selection, the chain also plans to add to its range of ready-made meals and sandwiches.
Considering the fact that the U.K. was recently named the world’s top region for vegan food launches, the change in the nation’s supermarkets was inevitable. Only time will tell what the next step will be.