From August, Tesco will be the second British retailer to sell a plant-based product in the meat aisle, with the UK launch of the Beyond Burger.
The patty, which will be available in 350 stores across the country, will be sold in two locations instore – alongside traditional animal meat and in the freezer section.
Tesco follows supermarket rival Sainsbury’s, which recently launched Naturli’ Foods’ vegan mince and burger products in its meat section.
The move has been a controversial one for some vegans, who say they will avoid the products, as they don’t want to navigate animal flesh.
But The Vegan Society’s Dominika Piasecka feels it’s a good move, saying: “It’s refreshing to see Sainsbury’s recognising that vegan food is just, well, regular food, and giving it a spot in their stores right where the customer would expect to find it.
“We want others to try vegan food and fall in love with how delicious, nutritious and cruelty-free it is. We can’t do that if we’re constantly given exclusive ‘vegan only’ supermarket aisles that non-vegans are afraid to wander into. ”
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The retailers are following the example of Beyond Meat in the US, which insisted its product was displayed in the meat case. Speaking to Plant Based News, Beyond Meat Founder and CEO Ethan Brown talked about the brand’s strategy of displaying the product in the meat aisle in a bid to put it in front of mainstream consumers, rather than hidden away in a ‘free from’ section.
He said: “When we got into the meat case, we thought ‘let’s see if we can really represent plant-based meat, let’s see if we can not get thrown out’ – things like that.
“Now in Southern California – in one of the largest conventional retailers in the country – in the Southern California district we are now the number one selling patty in the meat case…that’s by unit not by weight yet.
“To have that level of interest in the product, in the meat case itself, this soon was really exciting.”