UK – Tesco, a British multinational groceries and general merchandise retailer has committed to increasing the sale of plant-based meat alternative by 300% by 2025 using 2018 as the base year.

In January 2018, Tesco was the first UK retailer to launch an own-label plant-based range, Wicked Kitchen, which initially showcased 20 plant-based meals, sandwiches and salads.

By September 2019, Wicked Kitchen had sold more than ten million units of plant-based foods.

The new sales target stands alongside a wider set of sustainability commitments which Tesco has developed with its partner the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The UK market for meat alternatives could be worth more than £1.1bn (US$1.28bn) by 2024

Analyst firm Mintel

The retailer has set out a range of measures centered around availability, affordability, innovation and visibility to help it reach its sales target.

These include introducing, and expanding the availability of plant-based meat alternatives across all its stores, with products across 20 different categories including ready meals, sausages, burgers and party food.

Tesco has indicated that the demand for chilled meat-free foods, which includes popular items such as burgers, sausages and mince substitutes, has increased by almost 50% over the past year.

In addition, the retailer says that it will ‘invest in value’ so that affordability is not a barrier to buying meat alternative products, while it will also work with suppliers to bring new innovations to customers.

In an effort to boost the visibility of plant-based meats, Tesco says that it will display a meat alternative where a meat product is featured.

The supermarket is also launching 11 new vegan products with some centrepiece dishes part of both its Wicked Kitchen and Plant Chef ranges.

Tesco has also committed to publishing the sales of plant-based proteins as a percentage of overall protein sales every year to track its progress.

“Our transparency on protein sales and our new sales target for meat alternatives gives us the platform to become more sustainable and will provide customers with even more choice,” said Tesco CEO, Dave Lewis.

“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.”

The UK market for meat alternatives could be worth more than £1.1bn (US$1.28bn) by 2024, according to analyst firm Mintel with its sales of 2014-2019 growing by 40% from £582m (US$681.9m) to an estimated £816m (US$956m).

As part of their partnership, with WWF, the retailer previously introduced the ‘sustainable basket metric’ as the retailer aims to halve the environmental impact of the average UK shopping basket.

The metric measures environmental impacts of food across seven different categories, such as climate change, deforestation, marine sustainability and packaging waste. So far, the retailer says that it has achieved 11% of its target.

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