Sainsbury’s Expands Meat Alternatives

UK retailer Sainsbury’s has announced it will be testing a new meat-alternative section in its meat, fish, and poultry aisle across 20 stores nationwide, following the success of its new plant-based private brand range which launched earlier this month.

The change will be the first time a UK supermarket has positioned a range of meat-alternatives directly alongside meat options in store. With 91% of Brits now adopting a ‘flexitarian’ diet, the decision by Sainsbury’s will now offer customers a broader choice when browsing in the meat aisle by including a range of tasty and nutritious meat-free alternatives.

The range of 26 meat-alternative products that will sit within the new section includes a tempting selection of vegetarian and vegan burgers, sausages, meat-free mince and more, including the likes of Sainsbury’s Love Veg! Vegan Chorizo Shroomdogs, juicy Sainsbury’s Love Veg! Jackfruit Quarter Pounders, Vivera Veggie Fish Burgers, and Fry’s Vegan Smoked Hot Dogs.

The move aims to cater to customers’ changing lifestyles and eating habits, namely those who enjoy meat but are looking to switch to a more plant-based diet. Sainsbury’s has seen an 82% increase in customers searching for vegan products online, and a 65% increase in sales of plant-based products year-on-year, as customers, increasingly consider a vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian lifestyle. The trial follows the success of Sainsbury’s revolutionary meatless mince trial last October, which saw the Danish brand, Naturli Mince located next to a meat equivalent.

Rosie Bambaji, plant-based buyer at Sainsbury’s, said: “We’re seeing increasing demand for plant-based products, and with the unstoppable rise of ‘flexitarianism’ in the UK, we are exploring further ways to make popular meat-free options more accessible. We hope that this trial will make our customer’s shopping experience even more seamless, and we’re looking forward to hearing their feedback.”

The 26 meat alternatives will move from their regular meat-free location within the ready meals aisle, to the new section within meat, fish, and poultry during the trial period. Customers will still be able to shop the rest of Sainsbury’s plant-based range in its usual aisle. The trial will run in 20 stores in the UK from January 27th. 


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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.