Hot on the heels of introducing its biggest ever range of meat-free foods in October 2017, Waitrose is set to expand its selection of vegan and vegetarian food. The supermarket will increase its total vegan and vegetarian assortment by 60%.
Among the 50 new products are two exclusive brands, The Happy Pear – created by renowned plant-based and whole food chef duo David and Stephen Flynn, and The Vegetarian Butcher – a Dutch company specialising in meat substitutes, made using plant-based proteins.
Kantar UK Insights predict 2018 to be the year Brits go vegan, also noting it is the year that plant-based diets go mainstream. Waitrose is seeing this reflected in its sales of vegetarian food, up 34% against the same time last year.
In a supermarket first, the retailer will have a dedicated vegan section, which will be signposted in its shops. In total, the range will feature 125 ingredients, ready meals and other meat-free products designed to make shopping easier for customers looking for vegetarian and vegan options.
Chloe Graves, Waitrose Chilled Vegetarian and Vegan Buyer says, “Our current selection of products has been selling really well week after week, with requests for more choice coming from our customers and Partners, so we could clearly see there was an appetite to have more vegetarian and vegan options in our shops.
“Increasing our range builds on the work we did last year to increase choice for our customers in this area. We are working with some fantastic exclusive brands to ensure our shoppers have a really unique selection of food to choose from.
“With flexitarianism also on the rise, we have made sure we have dishes and ingredients for those looking to opt for a meat-free meal, that was suitable for the whole family to enjoy.”
David and Stephen Flynn, The Happy Pear co-founders said: “We are chuffed to be entering the UK market with our products and really honoured to be working with Waitrose to expand its vegan range. Our great-tasting, vegan products are all made from natural ingredients and are great for all lifestyles and those wanting to eat more veg.
“We have been working with Waitrose since 2016, creating vegan recipe videos and on customer events, and this is a great, growing partnership, which supports our mission to help people live healthier and happier lives.”
The range, which launches in Waitrose from Monday 4th June, will see an increase of products available in all shops, with 134 branches with a vegan bay.