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ABP UK, which is one of the UK’s biggest meat processors, has launched the seasoned pea and soy protein ‘The Real Deal’ patty under its new ‘Equals’ label.
The patty, which is aimed at both meat eaters and veggies/vegans, launched in supermarket Asda this week, as well as online, in a packet that says: “No meat. No compromise.”
“We are very excited about our first fresh brand launch into the meat-free category,” said ABP UK Commercial Director Darren Jones.
“Our core business is and will remain in beef but we recognize the growing demand for products that fit a flexitarian and meat-free lifestyle.
“As a business we have long invested in understanding market and consumer trends and we have a keen interest in exploring opportunities that provide consumers with choice.”
A growing number of UK consumers now identify as flexitarians, with recent data from market insight company Kantar showing that a staggering 92 percent of plant-based meals consumed last year in the UK were eaten by non-vegans.
The organization says that ‘plant-based meal occasions’ (i.e. a main meal where animal products are present) have grown 37 percent in the last four years and are now eaten by 10 percent of the population.
These consumers are ‘very engaged with the lifestyle’, according to Kantar, which added: “[They] are choosing to eat plant-based meals three times a week, on average. As this group of consumers grows, it is important to consider the motivations of the consumer. Crucially, most plant-based consumers are not vegans but those who are choosing to somewhat reduce their meat and dairy intake.”