Tesco Stores Run Out Of Vegan Food After Institute Trials Plant-Based Diet

A branch of the retailer in Slovakia has empty shelves where soy milk and tofu should be - as more people opt for alternatives to their usual animal products
Empty shelves in Tesco Slovakia
Empty shelves where soy milk should be (Photo: PBN. Do not use without permission)

Two Tesco stores in Slovakia have sold out of vegan staples including plant milk and tofu following a successful medical trial featuring a plant-based diet in the local town.

The Natural Food Interaction (NFI) diet is being trialed at the National Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology (NEDU) by acclaimed European diabetes researcher Dr. Emil Martinka MD, Ph.D.

There are two sizeable Tesco stores serving two local towns (combined population of 60,000) adjacent to where the trial is taking place - both are completely out of product.

NFI Diet

The NFI Diet was founded by David Hickman and Zuzana Plevova. It is a whole food, plant-based approach that goes one step further, says co-founder and biomedical scientist Plevova, by creating a personalized diet plan based on mixing and matching different plant foods in combinations that are said to provide powerful physiological effects.

"We have looked at the interactions of specific foods that help the body attack the lipid saturation, or accumulation of fat found in the cells of people with diabetes," she told Plant Based News.

Participants in the trial have reported remarkable weight loss of up to 1.5kg of visceral fat in a week, as well as dramatic improvements in blood sugar control.

Empty shelves in Tesco)
Certain grains and legumes are also in short supply (Photo: PBN. Do not use without permission)

Vegan food selling out

The success of trial participants has spread throughout the town. "We have around 40 patients on plans with Dr. Janka Lejavova in Liptovský Mikuláš, and what's happening is that we're getting a ripple effect where they're telling their family members, wives, daughters, sisters, children, grandparents, garndchildren, and they're going out and buying all vegan products as well," NFI Diet Founder David Hickman told Plant Based News.

"What we're actually seeing is quite a shortage of milk, tofu, and nuts. They are even running out of green peppers.These items are all found on the NFI diet and what people are doing now is starting to adopt some plant-based eating and by doing so the shops just don't have the stock.

"Some of the stock was actually short for more than three or four weeks, and when we went and asked, even the own-branded products were sold out. So an example would be Alpro soya milk, Alpro oat milk, and Alpro almond milk, and the Tesco's own version is also completely sold out."

Out of stock

According to Hickman, even vegan products that aren’t part of the NFI protocol are starting to sell out. "Patients and patients' family members that haven't got access to oat milk are now also buying rice milk - so there’s a ripple effect on that," he said.

After speaking to the manager of one of the Tesco stores, Hickman discovered it would be up to four weeks for some products to come back in stock, as they have to be ordered from Bratislava.

Hickman said the only place that can provide more locals with more of the items is a health store ‘but even they aren't able to stock the amount of tofu that's needed’.

"What's now happening is that patients and family members are either buying everything in bulk or they're ordering it in from different cities, or they're having it delivered," he said, adding that one patient is having to order Weetabix from Prague.

You can find out more about the NFI diet here, including testimonials. The public can purchase NFI meal plans here

*This article contains affiliate links.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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