Meat sales are on the decline across the industry, according to supermarket Sainsbury’s.
The retail giant made the comments while it announced its response to this changing customer behavior: to move its vegan range next to meat counters.
From today, in 20 Sainsbury’s stores, 26 meat-alternative products including sausages and burgers will be found in the new location.
“We were looking at as a business the challenge we face in the future, if we sell less and less meat what do you backfill it with,” James Hamilton, Meat-Free and Ready Meals Buyer at Sainsbury’s, told The Telegraph, adding that the trial was ‘in reaction to a decline in meat sales across the industry’.
“So we are supplementing our ranges with alternative proteins and plant-based ranges. We are interested to see what happened. The general market dynamic is that meat is on the decline.
“This is a way of giving people more choice and new ideas. People will even if they didn’t buy it will be thinking – is there a different way of doing things. We are appealing to different people than those who shop in our plant based section.”
Last year, Hamilton revealed that the supermarket was seeing a surge in consumers opting for plant-based products, with sales of its meat-free range are skyrocketing by a massive 20 percent each week.
“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.”