Pork giant Tulip has created a vegan meat brand in a bid to meet changing consumer tastes.
The first product from The Green Butcher brand - vegan slices - launched exclusively in Co-op earlier this month.
The slices, which are made from a base of soy and pea protein, are high in protein and low in saturated fats.
They will sit in the cooked meat fixture at Co-op stores. Tulip is also developing further innovations to launch as part of The Green Butcher brand in the next 12 months.
'Evolving needs of the market'
"We've worked hard to develop this product in collaboration with Co-op and the slices demonstrate our capabilities as a modern food manufacture to meet the evolving needs of the market," Sam Reader, NPD & Innovation Controller, Tulip Ltd, said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.
"We knew that if we were going to create a vegan product, we wanted to offer a healthier option for consumers and with our slices containing real vegetables, we have a big point of differentiation from other products in the sector."
'Exciting new journey'
Zoë Bruce, Customer Director – Co-op, Tulip, added: "We have a strong strategic relationship with Co-op, working closely to share knowledge and encourage innovation to help both parties grow.
"The Green Butcher product will be a great addition to Co-op's successful sandwich slice range. This is an exciting new journey that demonstrates our ability to meet changing consumer needs and we're looking forward to developing the range further."
'Evolving our portfolio'
Mark Cloudy, Co-op Cooked Meats Buyer, said: "We're always looking at ways we can evolve our product portfolio in order to appeal to the next generation of shoppers and cater for the growing demand for meat-free options.
"The slices will fill a gap in our cooked meats fixture and give our customers more choice in-store. We're looking forward to exploring more options as part of The Green Butcher collection."
The Green Butcher's 'Vegan Slices' launched in early October in Co-op stores. The RRP is £1.75.