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Retail giant Sainsbury’s has revealed that sales of its meat-free range are skyrocketing by a massive 20 percent each week.

The supermarket chain is set to launch a new range of vegan products – from Naturli’ Foods – in almost 400 of its stores this week in a bid to capitalize on the burgeoning sales.

The products – a mined ‘beef’ style plant meat, as well as a burger patty – will be sold in the meat aisle, making the products more accessible for non veggie/vegan customers.

‘Increasing interest’

Speaking about the launch, James Hamilton, Meat-Free and Ready Meals Buyer at Sainsbury’s, said: “We are seeing an increasing interest from our customers in plant-based foods, with sales of our current meat-free range growing 20 percent each week.

“We’re always exploring new ways to offer even greater choice, quality and value and our new Naturli’ mince and burgers are a brilliant example.”

Estimates now put the UK’s number of ‘flexitarians’ – also known as meat-reducers – at around 22 million. It is these consumers who are credited for much of the boom in plant-based sales.

Demand

Many of the larger UK retailers have been responding to growing customer demand for more plant-based options: Tesco launched a 20-product range of ready meals and on-the-go options in 600 of its stores in January of this year. It is also set to stock the high-tech plant-based Beyond Burger from August.

Waitrose was the first supermarket to launch a dedicated vegan section last month, to cater to the UK’s growing number of vegetarians, vegans, and flexitarians.

Chloe Graves, Waitrose Chilled Vegetarian and Vegan Buyer, said: “Our current selection of products has been selling really well week after week, with requests for more choice coming from our customers and partners, so we could clearly see there was an appetite to have more vegetarian and vegan options in our shops.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.