UK Supermarket giant Waitrose is set to expand its vegetarian and vegan range with an extra fifty products. The new range will be launched in one hundred and twenty-five Waitrose stores, along with a new dedicated vegan section – a first for the chain.
The Happy Pear and The Vegetarian Butcher are among the new brands set to appear on shelves from the 4th June onwards. David and Stephen Flynn of The Happy Pear, whose products include ready meals such as Veggie Korma and Chilli no Carne, are excited by the new reveal.
“We are chuffed to be entering the UK market with our products and really honoured to be working with Waitrose to expand its vegan range,” the pair said in a joint statement. “We have been working with Waitrose since 2016, creating vegan recipe videos and on customer events, and this is a great, growing partnership, which supports our mission to help people live healthier and happier lives.”
According to Waitrose, the expansion is due to consumer demand. “Our current selection of products has been selling really well week after week,” noted Chloe Graves, a vegetarian and vegan buyer for the chain. “With requests for more choice coming from our customers and partners, we could clearly see there was an appetite to have more vegetarian and vegan options in our shops.”
“Increasing our range builds on the work we did last year to increase choice for our customers in this area,” she added. “We are working with some fantastic exclusive brands to ensure our shoppers have a really unique selection of food to choose from. With flexitarianism also on the rise, we have made sure we have dishes and ingredients for those looking to opt for a meat-free meal, that was suitable for the whole family to enjoy.”
Across the UK, vegan and meat-free options are rising in popularity, with the number of vegans living in the country surging by seven hundred percent over the last two years. In fact, there are now over three-and-a-half million vegans in the UK and over seven million vegetarians. Supermarket competitor, Tesco, has also responded to rising demand – the chain recently announced the launch of the world’s first store-bought vegan steak in over four hundred stores.
Image Credit: The Happy Pear | The Vegetarian Butcher