In a first for UK supermarkets, Asda supermarket is trialling a fully vegan butchers counter at its Watford store with a range of plant-based meat products on offer.
Asda hit the headlines in 2020 when it announced it would be introducing an ambient vegan aisle, the first of its kind in a UK supermarket, to make it easier for shoppers to find its vegan products in stores.
In another UK first, the supermarket has announced the launch of an exciting new concept at its Watford store, an innovative new vegan butchers counter.
Launched through a partnership with London-based vegan concept creator Kbox Global, the meat-free ‘Veelicious’ vegan butchers counter opened today (January 4) and will be open for a trial period of six months.
Mimicking the style of a typical in-store butcher, Asda’s vegan butchers counter is home to an array of innovative mock meats including meat-free lamb and black pudding.
In keeping with its motto to help you save money and live better, prices for the products will start from a wallet-friendly 75p.
As well as launching its vegan butcher trial, this Veganuary Asda has added 22 new meat-free alternatives to its plant-based range which will be available in stores from January 5th.
New products joining the range will include a range of mock meats such as vegan roast chicken pieces and nuggets, as well as lunch options, ready meals and baking mixes.
Rising demand for meat-free products
Launching in time for Veganuary, the retailer is clearly keen to capitalise on the surge in demand for vegan products as it revealed that searches for the term ‘vegan’ on its website rose 175% year on year in 2020.
With over 500,000 now signed up to take part in Veganuary 2021, Asda is predicting that sales of vegan products this January will increase by 391 per cent year on year.
“The demand for vegan products is on the rise and we have seen a surge in people seeking out ways to easily enjoy a plant-based lifestyle,” Asda’s chief strategy officer Preyash Thakrar told The Grocer.
“Veelicious will be a ‘test and learn’ trial to help us understand what resonates with customers to enable us to enhance our plant-based proposition.”
Whilst Asda might be the first supermarket in the UK to launch a fully vegan butchers counter in-store, Sainsbury’s boasts the title of the first UK’s supermarket to open a bricks and mortar vegan butchers.
The pop-up store opened in 2019 in London to showcase the wide variety of meat alternatives available in its stores to encourage passers-by to try plant-based alternatives.
With demand soaring for plant-based products, Rudy’s Vegan Diner also expanded its business to include a 100% vegan butchers.
Proving a hit with customers, Rudy’s Vegan Butcher sold out on its first day of opening and has since struggled to keep up with the huge demand.
Wanting to cut meat from your diet but not sure what to replace it with?
These are the best vegan meat alternatives for vegans.