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Tesco sets ambitious plant-based food sales target

2 min read
AUTHOR: Matt Ridout

UK supermarket Tesco has become the first retailer in the country to set an ambitious plant-based food sales target. Today they’ve revealed that they’re committing to boosting sales of meat alternatives by 300% within five years.

Over the past year, demand for chilled plant-based meat alternatives at Tesco has increased by almost 50%. As a result of this rising demand the retailer will be expanding into more categories as well as creating options for people to buy dishes for two or family-sized meals within their plant-based range.

The new target is part of a package of sustainability measures that have been developed in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) which intends to halve the impact on the environment of the average UK shopping basket.

To achieve these goals, Tesco has set out a range of measures to help it reach its ambitious sales target:

  • Availability: Introduce and grow plant-based meat alternatives across all its stores, with products across 20 different categories including ready meals, breaded meat alternatives, plant-based sausages, burgers, quiches, pies, party food.
  • Affordability: continue to invest in value so that affordability is not a barrier to buying plant-based meat alternatives.
  • Innovation: work with suppliers to bring new innovations to customers.
  • Visibility: provide a meat alternative where a meat version is featured, for example Richmond sausages and Richmond plant-based sausages to feature together.

In another industry first, Tesco has committed to publishing plant-based food sales as a percentage of overall protein sales every year to track its progress. Tesco became the first UK retailer to publish its food waste data in 2013, and it hopes this new level of transparency on protein sales will help encourage the rest of the food industry to make similar commitments.

Tesco CEO, Dave Lewis said:

“We know from our experience in tackling food waste that transparency and setting ambitious targets are the first steps towards becoming a more sustainable business. Our transparency on protein sales and our new sales target for meat alternatives gives us the platform to becoming more sustainable and will provide customers with even more choice.

“These measures are just part of the work we’re doing with WWF, bringing together for the first time a host of sustainability metrics to help us halve the environmental impact of food production.

“We can’t accomplish the transformational change needed for a truly sustainable food system on our own, so we’re calling on the whole industry to play its role, starting with increased transparency on its sustainability impacts. We also call on the government to do more by helping to scale up innovations and create a level playing field to ensure companies drive sustainability in their supply chains.”