UK retailer Sainsbury’s has launched the country’s first meat-free butchers offering an “array” of cuts and joints from 100% plant-based sources.
Meaty’ cuts, joints and strings of sausages found in the shop will in fact be made from the likes of mushroom, jackfruit and pea protein, the supermarket said.
The meatless butchers will be open for three days in Bethnal Green, London.
Sainsbury’s has seen a 65% increase in sales of plant-based products year-on-year - with sales having doubled in the last year compared to the previous year.
The Meat-Free Butchers concept has been designed to highlight how far vegan food has come over the years, showing customers the huge breadth of choice now available.
“Whilst we’re seeing a huge climb in sales of our plant-based foods, we know from conversations with customers that there is a sense of trepidation about cooking with them. So, our meat-free butchers has been launched to encourage people to get up close to the products, try what they like and take home some valuable cooking advice and recipe inspiration,” buyer for Sainsbury's, James Hamilton, said.
"We have carefully selected the products on offer from the growing range of over 100 plant-based products now available at Sainsbury’s, so customers are in for a real meat-free treat when visiting the butchers.”
Across its supermarkets, Sainsbury's is also rolling out its 'taste the future' scheme, part of the group's 'future brands' initiative, which was launched last year. The initiative will see Sainsbury's trial products that it believes could disrupt the food sector by appealing to millennial consumers and emerging food trends. Items will be displayed in dedicated bays for 14 weeks - and whether products will continue to be stocked will depend on how well they sell during this initial period.
The new range consists of 30 products from 11 start-up brands.
The first wave of products will include alcoholic kombucha from Bootleg Booch, salmon skin crisps from Sea Chips, and a ‘complete meal’ in a bottle from French brand Feed.
Rachel Eyre, head of Future Brands, said: “In the first year (of Future Brands), we have found and introduced some amazing products from up-and-coming challenger brands across food, drink, household and personal care, and our customers loved them. We are very excited by this next wave of innovation.”