A boom in sales of veggie food, prompted by the horsemeat scandal, could be more than just a blip, claim suppliers.

Sales of Quorn have rocketed 23% year-on-year in the past month [Kantar Worldpanel 4 w/e 17 February], leading Quorn boss Kevin Brennan to suggest the market may have reached a tipping point that would bring meat alternatives to greater prominence. His claim follows reports from Asda that sales of meat-free meals were booming.

“There’s no question we’ve seen stronger than usual sales, but what is more interesting is that we’re seeing more coverage and awareness,” said Brennan.

The Veggie Day brand, which rolled out to The Co-op stores late last year, has also reported a hike in sales that has prompted it to bring forward its new products launch schedule by around six months.

While there was evidence of an upward trend over recent years, meat alternatives faced barriers in terms of perception of taste and price, said Mintel senior food analyst Amy Price.

“Price and convenience play a big role, but if meat substitutes can tick the taste perception box as well then they could see benefits,” she added.