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24 Oct 2017

Flex appeal

Waitrose Vegetarian Tikka Masala and Rainbow Vegetable Stew

In response to the rising demand for vegetarian food and the fast growing number adopting a flexitarian diet, Waitrose has announced its biggest ever range of meat-free foods. With the introduction of 30 new dishes, the supermarket is increasing its shop space devoted to vegetarian foods by an average of 35%.  

Launching on 25th October, the range includes an exclusive co-branded initiative between Waitrose and The Vegetarian Butcher which uses a new soya protein. Waitrose is the first UK supermarket to use this brand of alternative protein which looks like and has the texture of meat, appealing to those who want to reduce the amount of meat in their diet without the compromise.

Flexitarians
According to a Mintel report earlier this year,* demand for meat-free food is forecast to rise by 9% over the next five years to 2021.  And this trend isn't limited to the buying choices of vegetarians and vegans. Flexitarianism, a term for those who want to reduce but not completely stop their meat intake, was added to the Oxford English Dictionary as recently as 2014.

The Vegetarian Butcher is a Dutch company specialising in meat substitutes, made using plant-based proteins. Founded by 9th generation farmer, Jaap Korteweg, in 2010, they began as a single shop but now sell products in 16 countries. They have teamed up with Waitrose to develop its own label range of ready meals which includes a tikka masala, lasagne and green Thai curry which have been made as close as possible to the retailer’s best selling meat versions, but with a vegetarian recipe.

Korteweg says, "Our ideal is to have meat enthusiasts experience our products and then realise they don’t have to miss out on anything if they take meat out of their diet for one or more days. That is why we always try to capture the flavour of real meat and why we characterise ourselves as an entirely new generation of meat substitutes that are, according to top chefs, indistinguishable from the real thing."

Biggest ever vegetarian range
Chloe Graves, Waitrose Vegetarian Buyer says, “This is our largest ever meat-free range. Vegetarian meals are one of our fastest growing categories with sales up 14% year on year and we know this will only get bigger.

"There's little doubt that plant protein will play an increasingly important part in a healthy balanced diet in the future. By working with The Vegetarian Butcher we can offer our shoppers a first-to-market high quality replacement protein that is more akin to the texture of meat than anything we have stocked before. This will appeal to flexitarians who want to reduce their meat intake without the compromise, but is also suitable for vegetarians."

Other dishes in the 30 strong Waitrose range include vegetable-based dishes too including cauliflower cheese croquettes, arrancini, beetroot burgers and a rainbow vegetable stew. Vegans are also catered for with 11 new products including a 100% dairy free spreadable cheese called Sheese, vegan style pulled pork and a handmade tofu.

All products now available include:

Waitrose Vegetarian Lasagne with soya mince
Waitrose Vegetarian Tikka Masala with soya pieces and rice
Waitrose Vegetarian Green Thai curry with soya pieces and rice
Waitrose Vegetarian Chilli with soya mince and rice
Waitrose Vegetarian Three Bean Chilli and Cous Cous
Waitrose Vegetarian Rainbow Vegetable Stew
Waitrose Vegetarian 2 Spinach, Courgette and Feta Cheese Pies
Waitrose Vegetarian 6 Tomato and Mozzarella Arrancini
Waitrose Vegetarian Cauliflower Cheese Croquettes
Higgidy Turmeric Spiced Cauliflower Veggie Rolls
Higgidy Welsh Goats Cheese and Leek Frittata
Higgidy Spinach, Feta and Cherrybell™ Pepper Frittata
Higgidy Moroccan Spiced Aubergine Pie with a Filo Crown
Higgidy Coconut Spiced Chickpea and Paneer Pie
Quorn Five Grain Vegan Fillet
Quorn Sweet Chilli Sausages
Meat the Alternative Chargrill Beef Style Quarter Pounders
Meat the Alternative Italian Beef Style Meatballs
Meat the Alternative Roast ham style Deli Slices
Meat the Alternative Roast Beef Style Deli Slices
Vivera Pumpkin Burgers
Vivera Beetroot Burgers
Vivera Pulled Pork
Vivera Veggie Kebab
Tofoo Naked Organic Tofu
Tofoo Smoked Organic Tofu
Sheese
Sheese - Garlic and Herb
HECK Bollywood Balls
Dees Morrocan Style Veg Pot
Dees Thai Quinoa Veg Pot

For further information please contact the Waitrose PR team at ZPR on 0207 287 5006 or email waitrose@z-pr.com.

Information and prices correct at time of release.  Waitrose customer enquiry number is 0800 188 884.

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