Asda divides opinion by announcing new aisle in supermarkets across the country
With the demand for vegan products soaring, ASDA will stock more than a hundred new products in their supermarkets – but the decision is dividing opinion.
Asda is launching more than a hundred new vegan products across 359 of its stores this week, according to The Grocer.
The range will be displayed in aisles entirely dedicated to vegan products, one for savoury including proteins, cooking sauces and condiments, and the other for snacks, sweets and treats.
The decision follows the unveiling of ‘Plant Based’ in January this year, Asda’s own fully vegan food range, a knock-on from Tesco’s decision to become the first supermarket to announce their own range of vegan foods.
The new units are expected to include Asda’s own-label foods, such as rice and lentil bowls, as well as foods from external brands such as Mrs Crimble’s, Vego, Galaxy, and an exclusive falafel mix from Bosh.
There will also be ready meals, pizzas and other non-meat alternatives available as part of the vegan expansion in stores across the country.
Asda buying manager Sarah Thornewill told The Grocer: “We understand that customers want a quick and simple shopping experience, and this shouldn’t be restricted by dietary requirements.
"By merchandising all our vegan items together, we hope to save customers time and offer inspiration, whether for those following a plant-based diet, or those looking to reduce their meat consumption.”
She added that prices would be ‘market leading’, and it is thought that it will become the first supermarket to have two aisles fully dedicated to non-meat items.
The supermarket said searches for vegan lines on Asda.com had risen 275 per cent since last year.
Research conducted by the retailer found 17 per cent of UK households were reducing their meat intake or following a plant-based diet.
The vegan-focused NPD has continued through the year, with a soya-based, chicken-style joint launched this month.
Asda is not the only supermarket pushing its vegan sales, with Tesco announcing that it aims to boost sales of plant-based products by 300 per cent.
Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis told the BBC: "Our transparency on protein sales and our new sales target for meat alternatives gives us the platform to becoming more sustainable and will provide customers with even more choice."
Global demand for meat-free products is anticipated to hit £4.1 billion this year, almost double five years ago.
All supermarket brands across the UK are implementing sustainability programmes, including the implementation of a more expansive range of non-meat options, in a bit to help the environment and curtail detrimental impacts of poor diets and food wastage.
In Yorkshire, Leeds-based meat-free brand Meatless Farm, a leader in the industry, has raised £24m to support expansion plans across the world as demand for vegan products soar.
Company founder, Morten Toft Bech, told the Guardian: “We are seeing strong demand for our plant-based burgers, sausages and mince and see opportunities to grow the brand rapidly as people look to eat more healthily and sustainably.”
Visit the ASDA website for information on their meat-free range.