'Vegan Sales Are Up And Meat Is On Decline', Says Sainsbury's

The retail giant is moving its plant-based alternative products - including sausages, burgers, and mince - next to its meat counters in stores
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Vegan Naturli' mince

Sainsbury's sells a range of vegan meat products (Photo: Naturli' Foods)

Meat sales are on the decline across the industry, according to supermarket Sainsbury's.

The retail giant made the comments while it announced its response to this changing customer behavior: to move its vegan range next to meat counters.

From today, in 20 Sainsbury's stores, 26 meat-alternative products including sausages and burgers will be found in the new location.

Vegan rise

"We were looking at as a business the challenge we face in the future, if we sell less and less meat what do you backfill it with," James Hamilton, Meat-Free and Ready Meals Buyer at Sainsbury's, told The Telegraph, adding that the trial was 'in reaction to a decline in meat sales across the industry'.

"So we are supplementing our ranges with alternative proteins and plant-based ranges. We are interested to see what happened. The general market dynamic is that meat is on the decline.

"This is a way of giving people more choice and new ideas. People will even if they didn’t buy it will be thinking - is there a different way of doing things. We are appealing to different people than those who shop in our plant based section."

Plant-based sales

Last year, Hamilton revealed that the supermarket was seeing a surge in consumers opting for plant-based products, with sales of its meat-free range are skyrocketing by a massive 20 percent each week.

"We are seeing an increasing interest from our customers in plant-based foods, with sales of our current meat-free range growing 20 percent each week. We're always exploring new ways to offer even greater choice, quality and value and our new Naturli' mince and burgers are a brilliant example.

"Estimates now put the UK's number of 'flexitarians' - also known as meat-reducers - at around 22 million. It is these consumers who are credited for much of the boom in plant-based sales."