Tesco targets 300% rise in vegan meat sales

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Tesco has set a target to sell four times as much meat alternative protein by 2025 as demand for vegan products climbs.

The supermarket giant wants a 300% boost in sales compared with 2018 as part of a sustainability drive.

It will aim to sell more plant-based sausages and burgers, as well as products designed to emulate meat.

The UK market for meat alternatives could be worth more than £1.1bn by 2024, according to analyst firm Mintel.

Tesco said meat and dairy production had a “significant impact” on environments such as the Amazon and Cerrado regions of Brazil, and “is acknowledged as a major contributor to climate change”.

The UK’s largest retailer aims to introduce more plant-based product lines, as well as selling more of the lines it already stocks, a spokesman said.

These include “ready meals, breaded-meat alternatives, plant-based sausages, burgers, quiches, pies, [and] party food”.

Tesco said it wanted to focus on making the products affordable and innovative. It will also stock meat alternatives alongside meat – “for example Richmond sausages and Richmond plant-based sausages to feature together,” it said.

It will also start to publish sales of plant-based proteins as a percentage of overall protein sales every year.

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said: “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.”

Tesco set its target to sit alongside measures it has developed in partnership with environmental charity WWF.

Tanya Steele, WWF chief executive, said: “Tackling the environmental impact of what we eat and how we produce it has never been so urgent.

Earlier this month a WWF report said that wildlife populations have declined more than two thirds in the last 50 years.

Ms Steele said: “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.”

Tesco has also been taking a number of steps to reduce food waste, including a partnership with food-sharing app Olio.

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Media captionLocal food heroes: Tesco teams up with Olio

Between 2014 and 2019 sales of plant-based foods in the UK sales of grew 40%, from £582m to an estimated £816m, analyst firm Mintel said in January. It expects sales to be more than £1.1bn by 2024.

All of the UK supermarkets are making moves aimed at making their businesses more environmentally friendly.

In January, Asda started trialling refills at a sustainability store, and Sainsbury’s pledged £1bn to cut emissions to zero by 2040.

In August ,Morrisons said it was considering ditching all of its plastic bags for life.