Supermarket giant Tesco has created a major new plant-based range - which it describes as 'affordable' - as part of its commitment to making its food more sustainable.
The Plant Chef range, which launched today in more than 450 large stores, includes Butternut Cauli Mac, Breaded Goujons (£2), Battered Fish-Free Fillets (£3), and Mushroom pizza (£2.50).
According to Derek Sarno, head of Tesco's plant-based innovation, the new line differs from its Wicked Kitchen vegan brand by offering 'everyday delicious swaps' as opposed to the other line's more innovative, foodie edge. He adds that 'both ranges are 100 percent plant-based and amazing'.
Tesco has launched new dedicated plant-based and vegetarian zones instore, which will house some of the products. In addition, some of its plant-based items will be located in the meat aisles, in a bid to offer flexitarians easy-to-find veggie alternatives.
Speaking to Plant Based News, Derek Sarno said putting these options in the meat aisle will increase uptake.
"As a vegan myself, I am a firm believer that placing options in front of where meat-eaters shop will open the door to trying," he added. "Most meat-eaters wouldn't go to a plant-based aisle so we'll bring it to them. Nothing can be chosen if it's not offered and in front of customers."
Sarno firmly believes that demand for vegan food is set to continue growing in coming years.
"We've done a lot of work so far and are just scratching the surface," he said. "There is obvious demand to provide healthier solutions for the planet, people and the animals and that demand is growing as awareness does."
He added that Tesco shows no signs of 'slowing down on development and leading the way in retail providing the most robust plant-based selections."
Changing the world through food
The increasing availability - and visibility of plant-based alternatives is crucial in changing the world through food, according to Sarno.
"If we want to change the world for the better through food, we need plant-based options to the current factory-farmed animal-based foods.
The first step is to make these foods available where they haven't been," he said.
"It's our job to make them delicious, crave-able, easy, affordable, and available to empower customers with the opportunity of choice. I, for one, choose plant-based as the best solution moving forward for the animals, earth, and my own health."
The Plant Chef range will further expand into the prepared fresh food aisle of nearly 900 stores on October 14 and then into frozen and grocery in January 2020.