A vegan-friendly burger which uses beetroot juice to give it a “meaty red hue” is hitting Tesco’s aisles today after months of delays.
The plant-based Beyond Burger, made by American company Beyond Meat, was due for UK release in August, but this was pushed back after “higher-than-expected” demand for the product in the US caused a supply shortage.
A company spokesperson said the product was delayed in order “to have enough product to keep the shelves full” when it did finally launch.
Shoppers can now find the Beyond Burger at more than 350 Tesco branches nationwide for £5.50. It is also being sold at restaurant chains Honest Burger and All Bar One.
Tesco prepared foods selling manager Martyn Doble called it a “game changer”, and one of the most “eagerly anticipated food launches of the year”.
The burger, which blends pea protein, coconut oil and potato starch with traces of beetroot to give it a meat-like “bleeding” effect, is being placed in refrigerated aisles with real meat, in what Beyond Meat’s executive chair Seth Goldman called an “innovative approach to merchandising”.
He said the patty served a “growing global demand” for plant-based products. The company has welcomed the likes of Bill Gates and Leonardo DiCaprio as investors.
Last week, Tesco was named the fifth-best supermarket for buying vegan food online by e-commerce analytics platform E Fundamentals. It was beaten by Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Waitrose, which was crowned number one.
Waitrose told SM it had no plans to follow Tesco in stocking the product. But last month the retailer’s dedicated chilled vegetarian and vegan buyer Chloe Graves said there was indeed a “growing appetite for meat-free dishes”, reflected by “rising sales of vegan and vegetarian products”.
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