Health food chain Holland & Barrett has said that a sharp increase in sales of its vegetarian products is a direct result of media revelations of horse meat findings in some supermarket ready meals.

In the week to 2 February sales of its Frys Vegetarian Spiced Burgers jumped by 16.7% and sales of its Cheatin Beef Roast No Stuffing product increased by 50.3%in the same period.

Holland & Barrett parent company NBTY Europe says that it is continuing to monitor sales of its vegetarian products as incidents of horse meat being included in products such as ready meal beef lasagnes continue to hit the media.

“It appears that consumer confidence in supermarkets is at an all time low thanks to the horse meat news,” said NBTY Europe buying director Kyle Rowe.

“We have noticed that shoppers are rushing to stock up on meat free products and believe that is down to concern about the provenance of the meat they were buying”.

Holland & Barrett sells only meat-replacement products with 94 lines currently being sold across its 700 stores.