The Telegraph has revealed that plant-based meat alternatives will be sold next to animal meat products for the first time in the UK. A representative from Sainsbury’s supermarket said in a statement to the newspaper, that the market for meat products is on the decline, whereas demand for plant-based alternatives is increasing steadily.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson commented to inews: “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. “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.”
The plant-based buyer for Sainsbury’s, James Hamilton, said to the Telegraph: “We were looking at [as a business] the challenge we face in the future, if we sell less and less meat what do you backfill it with? So we are supplementing our ranges with alternative proteins and plant based ranges. We are interested to see what happened. The general market dynamic is that meat is on the decline. This is a way of giving people more choice and new ideas”
Interestingly, Hamilton describes that the aim of this placement is not to appeal to vegans or vegetarians, but to offer a new kind of protein to the rising flexitarian population, mirroring the sentiments of key players in the plant-based and clean meat industries, who often state that flexitarians are the consumer group best focused on. “We are appealing to different people than those who shop in our plant based section.”
Plant-based meat and fish alternatives will be stocked alongside animal meat in 20 Sainsbury’s stores from this Sunday.