Tesco plans to triple sales of meat alternatives

Tesco has set itself a target to increase sales of plant-based meat alternatives by 300% by 2025 as part of its ambition to halve the environmental impact of the average shopping basket.

Britain’s largest food retailer said it would launch new products including plant-based ready meals, sausages, burgers, quiches, pies and party food to help reach its target.

And it challenged rival grocery retailers to join it in publishing the sales of plant-based proteins as a percentage of overall protein sales every year to track its progress.

In an interview with Retail Week to mark his last day as CEO of Tesco, Dave Lewis said: “We have to change what we eat – to move from an animal-based protein to a plant-based protein diet. From a UK point of view, we have to change what we incentivise people to produce.”

However, Tesco has stopped short of setting a target for reducing sales of animal protein, nor has it set a corresponding target for increasing sales of unprocessed vegetables.

The target to grow sales of plant-based meat alternatives forms part of Tesco’s partnership with WWF which has the overall ambition of halving the environmental impact of the average UK shopping basket by 2025.

Tesco and WWF launched their sustainable basket metric in 2019 which measures a product’s impact against a number of relevant environmental criteria. The criteria, which include sustainable diets, deforestation, food waste and packaging waste, are weighted reflecting the fact that some have a greater environmental impact than others. Tesco has yet to publish the framework in full.

Commenting on the new 300% sales target, 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.”

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