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Fast-growing plant-based group signs national distribution deal with Brakes

Award-winning London-based This, the creator of the world's most realistic plant-based chicken and bacon, has struck as deal with foodservice company, Brakes.

Brakes will launch with Great Taste Award-winning This Isn’t Bacon rashers, This Isn’t Chicken Salt & Pepper pieces, and This Isn’t Chicken Goujons - offering the hyper-realistic plant-based meat to restaurants, pubs, cafes, schools and hotels across the UK.

Andy Shovel, Co-founder of This, stated, ‘Our partnership with Brakes signifies This going truly mainstream and we’re chomping at the bit for the chance to start working with its expansive network and shaking up more meat-free menus across the country.’

Charlotte Laity, Category Manager at Brakes, said, ‘We are pleased to add THIS™ to our growing portfolio of plant-based suppliers and look forward to helping the brand as it continues to grow in popularity. This is a young, innovative and modern plant-based brand and its fantastic ‘chicken’ and ‘bacon’ alternatives will add a further point of difference to our burgeoning selection of meat alternatives.’

Across the food sector sales of meat alternatives were up 40% to an estimated £816m last year, Mintel reported, whilst Brakes has seen a sharp increase in the demand for meat alternatives and has reported unprecedented category growth in double digits.

Laity added, ‘I am regularly approached about our current range of meat alternatives and receive requests for new and innovative products weekly. Demand is heavily focused around meat-like replicas and vegetable proteins that taste and look like meat which is not surprising given that a significant number of foodservice establishments are reporting strong demand for these products from consumers.

These patterns are in line with industry trends, which report that almost two thirds of Britons now choose to eat meat substitutes, up from half two years ago (Mintel) and that the vegan market is also set to increase, with a quarter of Brits predicted to be vegetarian or vegan by 2025.

This is one of the fastest growing food businesses in the UK. Its meteoric rise in foodservice and retail has seen it place its products in over 1200 outlets across the UK in just seven months - including national listings with Waitrose (200 stores), Holland & Barrett (665 stores), Ocado, Honest Burger, Patty & Bun, Barburrito, PURE, Coco Di Mama, many others and now Brakes.

Experiencing a compound growth rate of 35% month-on-month this positive trend has spread to restaurant partners who feature THIS™ products on their menu too, including at Chilango, where This dishes now make up over 15% of sales.