Co-op: “It’s Important That we Have an Offering for Vegans in the UK”

Suma Baked Beans Coop
©Coop

British supermarket the Co-operative has been increasing its presence in the vegan market since the beginning of 2019, and last week vegan consumers were pleased with the announcement of a plant-based sausage & beans tinned product. Daily Mail noted however, the discrepancy in price, and that vegans have to pay .60p more than the standard meat version.

The tinned beans are made with plant-based Lincolnshire sausages and were created as a collaboration between Heather Mills´ VBites and the wholesale co-operative Suma. Ms Mills said to the Mail,”‘As a kid from a working-class family we loved sausage and beans but only had enough money to buy in a tin. One of my fantasies was to have vegan sausages and beans, and we at VBites and Suma are doing that now with our canned product.’

In the first weeks of this year, the supermarket announced a range of vegan friendly products, including a line of jackfruit products – BBQ Jackfruit with Wedges & Slaw, Pulled BBQ Jackfruit, and BBQ Jackfruit & Slaw Sandwich. This March, Co-op also revealed that they will debut an own brand vegan bleeding burger called the Incredible Burger, which is apparently different from the Nestle burger of the same name.

Kevin Sargent, Senior Product Developer said to vegconomist: “Being a convenience retailer, with more than 2,600 stores covering the length and breadth of the country, it’s important that we have an offering for vegans in the UK. As a major retailer for lunchtimes, we have developed a range of vegan-friendly sandwiches, salads and wraps in our Food to Go range.  We are continuing to grow our offering and have introduced vegan-friendly products across our own-label range. This included ready meals, protein alternatives and snacks to offer delicious meal options throughout the whole day.
 
“As a co-operative, our members help shape our business and the way its run. We have now set up Member Voice which aims to do just that, give members a voice. We engage regularly with them online and in their communities in many ways. In the past, we’ve asked them to join in and talk to us about different topics to help shape our product ranges. By speaking and listening to our customers and members, we’ve got a better chance of both meeting their needs and giving them what they’d like.”