Tesco launches affordable veggie range to meet demand

Tesco is launching a new own-brand range of affordable plant-based foods today, as plant-based food has become the biggest culinary trend of the decade with demand helping to boost the chilled vegetarian/vegan sector by 31% (IRI data Sept 2019).

Now with its new range called Tesco Plant Chef, the supermarket is set to widen that appeal even further by offering easy to prepare plant-based swaps of traditional family favourite dishes.

And to make these foods easier to find, Tesco will for the first time have dedicated plant-based and vegetarian zones in stores.

From 23 September some of the plant-based foods will sit in the meat aisle offering flexitarians an immediate alternative. This will then be expanded out into other parts of the store.

The new Tesco Plant Chef range includes:
> Butternut Cauli Mac – Macaroni pasta coated in a sauce with cauliflower florets and diced butternut squash
> Breaded Goujons – made from seasoned soya tumbled in crunchy breadcrumbs
> Battered Fish-Free Fillets – made from seasoned soya and coated in a crispy, tempura batter
> Mushroom Pizza topped with punchy garlic, spinach and aromatic herbs.

At the same time, Tesco will also add more foods to its existing exclusive Wicked Kitchen range and have more branded plant based food too.

The new launches mean that Tesco will now have one of the biggest selections of plant-based foods on the UK high street.

In the last two years, 68% of adults have chosen to cut down or cut out meat from their diet (The Source, 2018) and 16% of all food product launches in 2018 were plant-based (Mintel, 2018).

Two years ago Tesco partnered with pioneering chef, Derek Sarno, to launch Wicked Kitchen – the first own-brand plant-based food range to be launched by a UK supermarket.

Derek Sarno, Head of Tesco’s plant based innovation, said, “The biggest impact we can make as individuals, for our health but also that of the planet, is to eat more plants.

“At Tesco we’re making that easier than ever by providing the widest and best range of plant-based options available on the UK high street.

“We’ve turbo charged our innovative original Wicked Kitchen snacks and meals. For those looking for everyday delicious meal swaps, we’re launching the exciting Tesco Plant Chef range.

“To make these foods easier to find we will be launching dedicated plant-based and vegetarian zones in stores.”

The launches will be staggered over the next four months with the first products launching in the meat aisle on 23 September in more than 450 large stores; expanding into the prepared fresh food aisle of nearly 900 stores on 14 October and then into frozen and grocery in January 2020.

Tesco will also be expanding its range of grocery foods and cooking kits to help people make plant-based dishes at home.

These include a wide range of popular sauces, stir-fry kits, snacking pots and trend-leading ingredients such as king oyster mushrooms and cluster mushrooms.

Plant-based foods are a major part of Tesco’s commitment to making its food more sustainable, supporting the UN’s recommendations that eating more plant-based dishes will significantly help towards tackling emissions and climate change.