Tesco has announced its five-year commitment aims to offer more sustainable options and has set its self an ambitious sales target for plant-based meat alternatives
In January 2018, Tesco made headlines when it became the first UK retailer to launch an own-label plant-based range, Wicked Kitchen, with an innovative selection of 20 vegan meals, sandwiches and salads.
Now the major supermarket is setting itself the ambitious goal of boosting sales of meat alternatives by 300% within five years, compared to 2018 sales, in a bid to offer shoppers more sustainable options to choose from.
In order to help it achieve its targets, Tesco has partnered with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in an attempt to cut the environmental impact of the average UK shopping basket in half.
The supermarket will be implementing a number of strategies to help it meet its goal and will be expanding the availability of meat alternatives in all its stores, across 20 different categories including ready meals, party and frozen food.
Keen to make sure everyone can afford to opt for plant-based meat alternatives, the supermarket will also be offering more ‘affordable’ options as well as working closely with food producers to assist them in bringing innovative new products to market.
Tesco also has big plans to improve the visibility of plant-based meat alternatives to shoppers who are purchasing meat by attempting to stock a plant-based version next to each of its non-vegan counterparts to entice shoppers to try something new.
‘Provide customers with even more choice’
Dave Lewis, who is stepping down as Tesco chief executive today (30 September), said: “We know from our experience in tackling food waste that transparency and setting ambitious targets are the first steps towards becoming a more sustainable business. 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.
“These measures are just part of the work we’re doing with WWF, bringing together for the first time a host of sustainability metrics to help us halve the environmental impact of food production.
“We can’t accomplish the transformational change needed for a truly sustainable food system on our own, so we’re calling on the whole industry to play its role, starting with increased transparency on its sustainability impacts. We also call on the government to do more by helping to scale up innovations and create a level playing field to ensure companies drive sustainability in their supply chains.”
Tanya Steele, WWF CEO, added: “It’s great to see this sector-leading step from Tesco. Tackling the environmental impact of what we eat and how we produce it has never been so urgent. WWF’sLiving Planet Report 2020 has just revealed that, in the last 50 years, wildlife populations have declined on average by 68 percent.
“The food system has been identified as the biggest culprit, but also presents one of the greatest opportunities to reverse this trend; rebalancing our diets is a critical part of that.
“Food businesses cannot have a sustainable future without transparency. They need to know where they are starting from in order to know where they are going.
“Our partnership with Tesco aims to halve the environmental footprint of the average shopping basket, but we need a sector-wide step-change in transparency and accountability to achieve the scale and pace of change that is so desperately needed. We ask all food businesses to join us on this journey.”