Plant-based ready meals see huge increase in UK supermarkets

Posted on the 1st July 2021

A survey by Eating Better has found that 1 in 5 ready meals in UK supermarkets are now vegan or vegetarian.

The research looked at 2,743 ready meals across 10 supermarkets and found that plant-based options are the fastest growing, with an increase of 92% since the Eating Better Alliance’s first survey in 2018. In addition to this, the Eating Better survey found that plant-based and vegetarian ready meals are now the cheapest ready meals in 7 out of 10 supermarkets.

Other key findings include:

  • Four supermarkets have greatly increased their plant-based range – Aldi by 175% (now a quarter of its ready meals range) and Tesco by 103%, while the Co-op and Morrisons are both up by more than 60%.
  • 62% of the vegetarian meals surveyed contain cheese, down a third in three years.
  • The number of meals with meat as the main ingredient has dropped by 9% since 2018, although 70% of the ready meals surveyed contain meat.
  • Three retailers have made significant reductions with their meat options over the last three years – Aldi by 15%, the Co-op by 14% and Tesco by 12%.
  • There has been a 50% increase in plant-based and vegetarian meals since 2018, with the survey showing that one in five ready meals are now plant-based or vegetarian.

The Eating Better Alliance is calling on retailers to reduce ready meals containing meat to no more than 50%, encourage the sale of plant-based foods and increase the amount of vegetables and pulses in ready meals and to ensure that plant-based meals are priced competitively against meat, fish and vegetarian options.

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