Unilever is to spend £8m on a major marketing push to promote its recently acquired brand The Vegetarian Butcher.
The fmcg giant - which bought the Dutch plant-based brand last December - has also secured listings for a national rollout of The Vegetarian Butcher’s range of nine chilled and seven frozen products from September, in Waitrose, Ocado and Tesco.
Its products had previously only been available with a limited SKU offering in Tesco, Waitrose.
Unilever said the brand’s “quirky” soy protein-based products, including a vegetarian Lincolnshire-style sausage called ‘Little Willies’ and vegetarian beef-style burger ‘Holy Cow’, would stand out on shelf and appeal to flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans alike.
Other products in the range include vegetarian beef-style meatballs ‘Unbelievaballs’ and vegan chicken-style chunks ‘What the Cluck’.
The rollout will be supported by a “substantial” multimedia campaign which will continue into 2020.
“Delivering the taste and texture of the real thing - consumers do not have to compromise when going meat-free,” Unilever said.
“Meat-free is the biggest food trend in the UK right now, driven by a third of consumers adopting flexitarian lifestyles,” added Unilever VP for foodservice, foods and tea Hazel Detsiny.
“The majority of these people aren’t cutting down because they don’t like meat, they are doing it for a mixture of health and ethical reasons - which means there are millions of people who still crave the taste and texture of meat.”
The Vegetarian Butcher offered “a delicious range of products that mimic the taste and texture of meat, so consumers no longer have to compromise when they choose meat-free”. She added.