Available across Sainsbury’s cold counters from 27 June, Naturli’s 100% plant-based product ‘Minced’, which the firm claims is a worldwide first, will be placed alongside meat products, rather than in the vegan section.
The plant-based product has all the characteristics of minced beef, such as colour, texture and taste, and is made using a variety of ingredients such as soy, wheat and coconuts. The umami flavour comes from almonds, tomatoes and porcini mushrooms, while the red colour is produced using beetroot.
Naturli’s Minced was introduced to Denmark at the beginning of 2018 and has struggled to keep up with demand from Danish supermarkets. Since its arrival, over 121,000 kg of Naturli’s Minced have been consumed.
Naturli’ Foods CEO Henrik Lund believes the UK can echo Denmark’s overwhelming demand for its Minced product following the UK’s expanding appetite for plant-based food.
“This is the first time consumers can buy a 100% plant-based mince product that looks and tastes like minced beef, can replace minced beef in all recipes, and be found in the cold counter next to traditional beef,” said Lund.
Sainsbury’s is aiming to compete with other major UK retailers for the availability of plant-based meats after Tesco launched the 100% plant-based steak into 400 stores, produced by Netherlands-based business Vivera. The steak was so popular that it sold out in some Tesco stores within a day and led to Vivera boosting production “faster than planned”.
Sainsbury’s said sales of its meat-free ranges across its stores were growing by 20% each week.
“We’re always exploring new ways to offer even greater choice, quality and value and our new Naturli’ mince and burgers are a brilliant example,” said Sainsbury’s meat-free and ready meals buyer James Hamilton.
“These are our most authentic meat alternatives yet, and for this reason we plan to stock them with our mince and burgers. We’re looking forward to hearing what our customers think when the products launch later this month.”
The move has been welcomed by The Vegan Society, which said it was “expecting great things” when the product was introduced into the UK market.
“With increasing interest in meat alternatives that mimic the appearance and texture of meat, it is sure to be a hit in the UK market and beyond,” said The Vegan Society’s trademark team. “It has great potential to help people make the transition to a vegan diet, being a similar consistency, availability and price to meat.”
Naturli’ Foods expects to sell half a million packs of its Minced product in the first year in the UK and the price will be comparable to minced beef.