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Sales of vegan foods have surged this year, according to a number of UK supermarkets.
Major retailers have seen some big plant-based launches over the last few months – with Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Ocado and Asda all trying to cash in on growing vegan momentum.
While the success of Veganuary – where people try a vegan diet throughout January – has likely had a positive impact on sales, many retailers expect the interest to continue.
Tesco – one of the UK’s largest retailers – launched a major 20-product plant-based range earlier this year, including ready meals, wraps, sandwiches, and salads – with chefs Derek and Chad Sarno.
The line – Wicked Kitchen – has been selling out, with some stores struggling to keep up with demand.
According to Derek Sarno – Tesco’s Head of Plant-Based innovation, the range will expand further in coming months, with more products being added.
He told PBN: “We’re selling out everywhere and are wicked happy about that. If it’s not there when you try to find it, know it’s coming. If your local Tesco doesn’t sell it – then ask them to.
“We’re really so happy and thrilled to finally have something to eat that tastes as good as the mission feels.”
Over the last few months Waitrose has launched a range of vegan products – including ready meals and ‘grab-and-go’ items.
Buyer Chloe Graves said: “Shoppers had a big appetite for Veganuary, with sales of some of our vegan ready-meals twice that of vegetarian dishes.
“We will be expanding our range of vegan products this year. We recently introduced a vegan course at our Kings Cross cookery school, which sold out.”
The UK supermarket offering the most vegan options is online retailer Ocado – which recently added 90 products to its offerings – including an own-brand range.
According to Buying Manager Jacques Thudichum, the vegan trend has ‘really made its mark in January’.
Thudichum told PBN: “Veganism and flexitarianism have seen a real surge in popularity in recent years, with plant-based alternatives becoming a key focus for us.
“We’re constantly expanding our range to offer new and exciting products, keeping ahead of key trends and meeting customer demand.”