As more of us cut down meat and eat plant-based meals, it’s good to see supermarkets are following suit.
A fifth of ready meals sold by UK supermarkets are now plant-based or vegetarian – and are the cheapest option at the majority of retailers, according to a survey. Among the ready meal category, plant-based options are the fastest growing, up by 92% since the Eating Better alliance’s first survey in 2018.
Which supermarkets have the most plant-based foods?
The Eating Better Alliance named Aldi and Tesco as its two best performers for increasing their plant-based options by 175% and 103% respectively after surveying 2,743 ready meals across 10 UK supermarkets.
Tesco and the Co-op have significantly reduced their meat-based, ready meal ranges but Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s “continue to have very meaty ranges”, while Iceland’s range remains at its 2018 level of 85% meat-based, the report said.
The alliance said the Co-op was one supermarket to have significantly altered its pricing, with meat-based meals going from being 8% cheaper than its plant-based options last year to the opposite this year, with meat meals now 9% more expensive than plant-based.
Overall, the survey found a 50% increase in plant-based and vegetarian meals since 2018. The amount of cheese in vegetarian meals is also down a third in three years to 62%. Simon Billing, executive director at Eating Better, said: “Retailers influence how and what we eat and have a responsibility to help us make healthy and sustainable food choices.
“Climate-friendly food needs to be mainstream and shouldn’t cost more, so it’s good to see progress on choice and affordability”
Food Foundation charity executive director, Anna Taylor, said: “This year’s survey from Eating Better shows some encouraging progress being made by the retailers, although there’s certainly a lot more that can be done.
“While it’s good to see the price of plant-based ready meals come down, the high proportion of meals containing meat remains a cause for concern given their negative impacts on both health and the environment.”