Waitrose is claiming a UK supermarket first with the launch of a new seitan burger.
Seitan is a protein rich food made from wheat gluten which is increasingly used as a substitute for meat due to its appearance and texture.
Its popularity with vegans or flexitarians has grown in part due to trendy restaurants such as fast food chain Temple of Seitan which has outlets in London’s Camden and Hackney.
Waitrose’s new Seitan Pattie combines seitan with mushrooms to give an intense smoky flavour, according to the retailer.
It said that searches on Waitrose.com for vegan burgers have increased by 86%, with seitan searches up by 148% compared with last year. There has also been a growing trend for vegan barbecue products with searches up by 175%.
Plant-based eating continues to be a major trend in both foodservice and retail. More than 250,000 people signed up for this year’s Veganuary, while high street brands synonymous with meat products such as Greggs and Pizza Hut have reported soaring sales of their vegan sausage rolls and pizzas respectively.