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Big British supermarket Asda opens vegan butcher counter

This week, UK-based grocery chain Asda opened a vegan butcher counter at its Watford, London location. Asda’s vegan butcher concept, called “Veelicious”, is valid for six months and offers customers a variety of vegan meats (such as bacon, meatballs and burgers), cheese and ready-to-eat meals at prices from 75 pence.

The supermarket is testing the concept after searches for the term “vegan” on its website increased 275 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year. “The demand for vegan products is increasing and we’ve seen an increase in people looking for ways to easily enjoy a plant-based lifestyle,” said Preyash Thakrar, Asda chief strategy officer said. “Veelicious will be a test and learning study to understand what is going down with customers so we can improve our plant-based offering.”

This week, Asda will be adding 22 new products to its own plant-based line, including chicken cuts and nuggets, a no-hoisin-duck wrap, non-baked baked goods and more.

Vegan butcher in the UK
In 2019, competing supermarket chain Sainsbury’s launched a similar concept at its location on Bethnal Green Road in London. Sainsbury’s Meat-Free Butchers’ counter offered 20 vegan meats, including Sainsbury’s Shroomdogs and The Meatless Farm products such as ground beef, vegetable-based bacon and steak.

While the concepts of Asda and Sainsbury are temporary, it is the UK’s first permanent vegan butcher shop Rudy’s vegan butcher, opened on November 1st, 2020 (World Vegan Day) in the London borough of Islington and sold out almost immediately. Rudy’s offers a variety of vegan meats such as pastrami, burgers, salami, peppers and “Rack of Jack” (jackfruit-based ribs) as well as prepared dishes such as cheese sauce and chili non-carne, lobstah salad, meatballs, and shredded BBQ pulled porc – all available for in-store collection and delivery across the UK.

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