Britain’s supermarkets are looking to capitalise on Veganuary with the launch of a host of innovative vegan products.
Sainsbury’s launched a range of seven “next-gen” plant-based SKUs into 500 stores on 1 January, including what it claims is the first pulled jackfruit in a UK supermarket. It launched Sweet & Smokey BBQ Pulled Jackfruit in response to the fruit’s recent boom in foodservice, it said.
It also unveiled a duo of Shroomdogs in caramelised onion and Cumberland variants, offering the same “full-on flavour and mouthwatering meaty texture” as a meat sausage but with 80% less fat, it claimed.
Mushroom Mince, Indian-inspired Cauli Burgers and Cauli Steaks complete the £1.50-£3 range under the ‘by Sainsbury’s’ brand.
It comes as flexitarianism takes hold in the UK, with 91% of Brits cutting down their meat intake last year [Mintel Meat-Free Foods Report].
“With Brits actively reducing their meat consumption, there is a clear appetite for exciting and new ways to introduce more vegetables into our lives,” said Georgina Lunn, Sainsbury’s product developer for fresh produce.
Meanwhile, Aldi launched a Specialbuy event on 4 January with affordable vegan options for those looking to sample the lifestyle, said a spokeswoman.
A trio of single ingredient organic spaghettis, variously made with edamame, soy and black beans (rsp: £1.99/200g), went on sale for the Specialbuy event from 4 January. The discounter will also stock branded Bounce energy balls (rsp: £1.29/40g) featuring added “veggie protein”.
The spaghetti and Bounce balls are also gluten-free, catering for rocketing demand for free-from, where sales are approaching £1bn, up 18.7% on 2016 [Nielsen 52 w/e 9 September 2017].
Ocado has announced it will add more than 90 SKUs to its vegan offer throughout the month. It will launch branded and own label products into its dedicated vegan web-shop. This would makes its vegan rang the largest of the mults, claimed the retailer.
The expanded range includes mains, desserts and cooking ingredients. New and exclusive to Ocado are Doctor Tempeh Javanese Lemongrass, Coconut & Turmeric Curry (rsp: £3.29/300g), Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon Tempeh (rsp: £4.39/198g), Ocado Bean Quarter Pounders, and Ocado Vegetable Quarter Pounders (each rsp: £2.63/680g).
Veganism and flexitarianism had seen “a real surge in popularity in recent years, with plant-based alternatives becoming a key focus for us” said Ocado buying manager Jacques Thudichum. “We hope to provide customers with everything they need, whether looking for simple swaps or fully embracing the vegan trend.”