Frozen food company Birds Eye, which sells frozen fish, chicken, meat-based ready meals, and vegetables, has launched its first vegan meat range in the UK at Tesco and Asda stores.
Called Green Cuisine, the line includes plant-based burger patties, sausages, and meatballs.
The vegan meats are free from soy and wheat, and are instead made with pea protein. “We take a specially selected variety of pea and take all the protein goodness from the dried peas. Then we add our unique combination of herbs and spices for a succulent taste experience that’s rich in Protein and a source of Fibre,” the brand writes on its website.
Beyond Meat, the company behind the beefy vegan Beyond Burger, also uses pea protein in its products, helping its plant-based meat patties deliver 20 grams of protein.
Speaking to The Grocer about the new Green Cuisine range, Birds Eye marketing director Steve Challouma said, “This is a major strategic launch into an increasingly important and fast-growing segment within the plant-based foods space.”
“We have successfully been able to recreate the taste and texture of popular meat products, helping families reduce their meat consumption through healthy options without compromising on flavour,” he added.
The launch of the meat-free products aligns with Birds Eye’s efforts to get people – especially children – to eat more plant-based food. Birds Eye points out that 80 percent of children don’t eat enough vegetables. On its website, the company promotes Veg Power, an initiative that encourages children to eat more healthily to help address rising rates of childhood obesity.
Vegan meat is more popular than ever. Pat Brown, the CEO of plant-based meat brand Impossible Foods, believes the vegan meat industry could be a $3 trillion opportunity in the coming years.
As the public shifts its attention to foods that are better for the planet, health, and animals, vegan meat – which allows consumers to eat in a way that aligns with their beliefs whilst not compromising on taste – becomes more mainstream.
The UK’s largest supermarket chain Tesco stocks the world’s first store-bought vegan steak as well as plant-based pulled pork. In February, a vegan meat advert aired during the Super Bowl for the first time ever. And this week, America’s top ticket-selling concert promoter Live Nation announced that 40 music venues across the country would begin serving cheesesteaks that feature vegan Impossible meat.
Green Cuisine’s vegan meats are available at Tesco and Asda for £2.50.