The World Needs More Plant-Eaters – Are Vegan Ready Meals The Way To Go?

Many experts maintain that more people should eat plant-based - but taste, affordability, and accessibility often stands in the way


5 Minutes Read

A plate of vegan spaghetti and meatballs from a THIS plant-based ready meal Quick, simple, and nutritious, the new ready meals are completely free from animal products - Media Credit: THIS / Plant Based News

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If you’ve been on the internet lately, you may have heard the news: meat is kind of f*cking us over. From emissions to pollution to global health crises, farming and eating animals is not doing humankind any favors. (Not to mention the billions of animals whose lives are reduced to Sunday roasts and lunchbox sandwiches.)

Scientists, environmentalists, and medical professionals widely agree that our food system is outdated, unsustainable, and, put simply, broken. Food producers know this too. And many are working overtime to come up with new ways to feed our fast-growing population. And it’s working, to an extent. A study published in June found that 57 percent of millennials in the UK are now eating meat-free three to four times a week. And just over half (52 percent) of over 65s say the same. 

But more needs to be done, experts stress. Research from 2018 – which remains the most comprehensive analysis of the food system’s impact on the planet – found that those in the UK and the US must cut their beef consumption by 90 percent to avoid climate catastrophe.

So what’s stopping them from doing so? Taste, affordability, and accessibility.

Enter: THIS

Plant-based meat brand THIS looked at the data, looked at the obstacles, and decided, “challenge accepted.” 

It’s what motivated the company’s flagship product: vegan bacon rashers made from soy and pea protein. The meat-free meat not only looks, cooks, and tastes like the real deal, but packs punches of iron and B12, along with 25 grams of protein per 100g. 

Supermarkets across the UK were quick to snap up the product. And THIS Isn’t Bacon Rashers were rolled out to Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, and Waitrose, to name a few. 

A vegan bacon sandwich made with THIS' plant-based meat
THIS The brand’s vegan bacon packs 25g of protein per 100g

The public’s support for the product was clear (a new report predicts that demand will take the global vegan bacon market to nearly $2.5 billion in the next decade).

But the team at THIS didn’t stop there. Plant-based chicken pieces and nuggets, bacon lardons, pork meatballs and sausages, a new frozen range, and now mince and burgers have followed suit, each more convincing and satisfying than the last. The brand has even turned its sights on the food-to-go scene, with a sandwich and snack pot range with WHSmith.

Brits are ready for ready meals

So when THIS heard that ready meals were taking the UK by storm, the team knew what had to be done. A Statistica survey of 12,061 individuals found that around one in five young people in the UK regularly eat prepared and convenience food. (That’s 22 percent of 18-24 year olds and 19 percent of 25-34 year olds, for those interested). 

For THIS, it just made good sense to give the people what they want, benefiting human, planet, and animal health in the process. And so, last month the brand expanded its portfolio once again. This time, with a trio of plant-based ready meals: THIS Isn’t Chicken Thai Green Curry, THIS Isn’t Pork Meatballs & Spaghetti, and THIS Isn’t Pork Sausages & Mash

  • A packet of THIS's vegan ready meal: plant-based pork sausages and mash
  • A packet of THIS's vegan ready meal: plant-based chicken Thai green curry
  • A packet of THIS's vegan ready meal: pork meatballs and spaghetti

The meals, all of which are 380g, can be prepared in under five minutes. They’re also more affordable than most other plant-based ready meal options, retailing at £3.95 (or £3.50 if you catch them on promotion).

But ready meals aren’t typically known for their healthfulness and nutrition. And they often fall short in the taste department too, so how do THIS’s creations fare?

Delicious vegan ready meals

The brand’s new Thai green curry – which features succulent vegan chicken, coconut and lemongrass sauce, aubergine, green beans, white rice, and black onion seeds – boasts 19g of protein.

Its pre-made spaghetti and meatballs comes complete with rich tomato sauce, grilled red pepper, and parsley (as well as major Lady and the Tramp vibes), along with 18.6g of protein.

Lastly, the British classic – bangers and mash – stars THIS’s award-winning vegan pork sausages, moreish onion gravy, and creamy kale mashed potatoes, alongside 13.7g of protein. 

A plate of vegan THIS Isn’t Chicken Thai Green Curry
THIS THIS Isn’t Chicken Thai Green Curry, complete with coconut and lemongrass sauce

All three meals are high in protein, low in saturated fat, and a source of fiber.

“The ready meals taste lush,” says Andy Shovel, co-founder of THIS and self-confessed former meat-fanatic. “Thanks to all the amazing work of THIS team we’ve been able to produce meals which are indistinguishable from the nation’s favorite meat-based classics.”

The new ready meals are available from Tesco now for £3.95. Between October 19 and November 8, 2022, shoppers can pick them up for just £3.50. For more information about THIS and its products, visit the company’s website, Instagram, or Facebook.

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