Co-op GRO’s Vegan

Last week UK based retailer Co-op revealed what it believes is the biggest rollout of vegan products in the country.

The vegan private brand range meets the growing demand for vegetarian and plant-based alternatives, as exclusive research from the Co-op’s Ethical Consumerism report reveals that the market has topped £1BN for the first time ever and has more than doubled in the last 20 years, up from £452M in 1999. In just 12 months, Co-op’s findings reveal that vegetarian product sales have risen by over 12 percent and non-dairy milk alternatives have seen a 14 percent uplift.

Jo Whitfield, CEO Co-op Food, said: “At Co-op, we make it easier to get products when you need them and we stay close to our customers changing requirements.

“We have to provide fantastic products and services with strong ethics and a purposeful focus on convenience. Our new vegan range taps into the latest consumer trends and our online services meet the growing appetite for fast home deliveries.”

The new GRO range caters for the growing appetite for plant-based food and the new brand, exclusively by Co-op, is designed with the convenience shopper in mind. GRO has been developed to take inspiration from some of Britain’s favorite dishes to create delicious plant-based alternatives, such as the classic chili con carne and sticky toffee pudding.

More than 35 lines in the GRO range have been created with busy and on-the-go shoppers in mind, with meal solutions for breakfast to dinner. The new range brings lots of innovation to the plant-based category, including a vegan steak bake, a delicious Kashmiri pizza featuring cauliflower and a mozzarella looking vegan cheese.

The full range of more than 35 GRO products will be available in 300 Co-op stores across the UK whilst selected lines will be stocked in 2,000 Co-op stores and up to 4,000 independent retailers from Wednesday, January 8th.

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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.