Tesco supermarket could soon become the first supermarket in the UK to stock meat-alternative products from US brand Beyond Meat.
Beyond Meat has big plans to roll out the Beyond Burger range across 50 countries and six continents this summer. According to a recent article published by news outlet The Guardian, the retailer is currently believed to be in the final stages of negotiating a deal that could mean Beyond Burgers are stocked in its freezers by July, just in time for summer BBQs.
Speaking to Plant Based News, Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown confirmed that the burger may soon be available in the UK supermarket, saying: “We’re in talks with Tesco,” also adding that there are a number of international deals the company is working on “but the details aren’t clear yet”.
A Tesco spokesman said of the plans: “This is something we are looking at but cannot confirm at this point.”
In the past year, Tesco has seen demand from customers for frozen meat-free foods has increased by more than 70%, while sales of chilled vegetarian ready meals and meat substitutes are up 30%.
In January the supermarket giant partnered with pioneering chef, Derek Sarno, to create ‘Wicked Kitchen’ – a new range of irresistible plant-based ready meals and sandwiches that celebrate everything that’s ‘wicked’ and tasty about plants. Prepared exclusively for Tesco, the new range was launched in 600 stores nationwide.
The Beyond Burger has taken the world by storm with its meaty texture and taste, as well as the fact that it appears to ‘bleed’ when cooked thanks to the addition of beetroot to give the burger it’s pink colour.
In the US, Beyond Burgers are stocked alongside meat products, in a bid to expand the vegetarian and vegan market to flexitarians and encourage them to swap animal meat for plant-based alternatives.
A spokeswoman for the Vegan Society said: “Anything that gives more choice for people to eat vegan food is a positive move. Whereas sausages can be made both from animals and from plants and it’s a type of food many of us are used to, many vegans appreciate that people may simply want to have vegan versions of foods they grew up eating.
“A number of vegans believe we should move away from the idea of imitating animal products and simply consume plant-based dishes. This is great in theory but, in reality, many people still want to indulge in fatty, satisfying foods. Having vegan alternatives to animal products gives vegans yet another argument as to why there really is no excuse not to be vegan. It comes down to individual preference of vegans as there is no animal use in either case.”