Tesco to launch plant-based steak in 400 UK stores

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

'The smell, taste and bite can hardly be distinguished from real steak,' Vivera commercial director Gert Jan Gombert claims
'The smell, taste and bite can hardly be distinguished from real steak,' Vivera commercial director Gert Jan Gombert claims
Tesco is launching plant-based steak at 400 of its UK grocery stores from 21 May in a bid to appeal to vegan and flexitarian customers.

The 100% plant-based steak is being produced at a 7,500m2​ meat-free production facility by Netherlands-based company Vivera, which has specialised in vegetarian and plant-based meal components since 1990. It hopes to produce several million pieces this year and currently produces one million meat replacement products a week at the plant. Only plant-based ingredients like wheat and soy are used in the production of its products and the new launch is composed mainly of corn.

“We believe the plant-based steak that we have created is a combination of a fillet steak and a sirloin steak,” Gert Jan Gombert, commercial manager (partner) at Vivera, told Global Meat News. “It is tender, juicy and bloody. We believe the experience comes really close to a meat-based steak.” He did not expect the price point for the steak to be more expensive than its meat equivalent.

In June, several large supermarket chains will sell the product in the Netherlands. From the second half of this year, Vivera plans to sell the steak in other countries in Europe, starting with the German, French and Italian markets. 

Vivera, which aims to establish a 100% plant-based product portfolio before 2019, boasts a portfolio of more than 40 different meat alternatives, derived from wheat, soy, peas, corn, rice and vegetables. Its range is already available in 23 European countries and 25,000 supermarkets. 

The business recently opened the most advanced production facility for tofu in Europe under the name of Dutch Tofu Company, which supplies a growing number of supermarkets in Europe. 


“A large group of vegetarians,​ vegans​ and flexitarians has been very interested in such a product for years. With the breakthrough of​ its market​ introduction and​ large-scale production, a large group of consumers can enjoy this very tasty​ plant-based​ product. 

“The smell, taste and bite can hardly be distinguished from real steak and we are convinced that this product will meet a large need of consumers. It is very important that we eat less meat, both for our own health, animal welfare and for our planet.​ Innovative and high-quality​ plant-based​ products can make a significant contribution here.”​ 

Vivera aims to present its plant-based steak at the PLMA exhibition at the RAI Amsterdam in the Netherlands. 

The company claimed that consumer interest in healthier and sustainable food was significantly increasing in many parts of Europe. As the world’s meat production was projected to double by 2050 according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the availability of meat alternatives would become more relevant than ever, it said. It claimed the trend would significantly reduce the environmental impact of meat production and the use of scarce resources like water and farmland.

Last month, US-based Impossible Foods revealed it was to supply its plant-based burgers outside the US​ for the first time - to the Hong Kong market.

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