A plant-based steak is set to be launched at Tesco as the supermarket looks to capitalise on growing demand for healthy, sustainable food.
The new product, produced by Dutch plant-based food specialist Vivera, is made with ingredients including wheat and soy, making it suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
The meat alternative, which will be available from 21 May, will be stocked at more than 400 Tesco stores, with supermarket chains in the Netherlands, Germany, France and Italy following suit later in the year.
Vivera has already started production of the steaks and expects to produce several million pieces in 2018. With current production of more than one million meat replacements a week, it is one of the three largest producers in Europe.
Vivera’s Gert Jan Gombert of Vivera said: "A large group of vegetarians, vegans and flexitarians has been very interested in such a product for years. With the breakthrough of its market introduction and large-scale production, a large group of consumers can enjoy this very tasty plant-based product.
“The smell, taste and bite can hardly be distinguished from real steak and we are convinced that this product will meet a large need of consumers.
“It is very important that we eat less meat, both for our own health, animal welfare and for our planet. Innovative and high-quality plant-based products can make a significant contribution here."
Vivera added that meat alternatives are “more relevant than ever” with the world's meat production expected to double by 2050 according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.
“Consumption of plant-based meat alternatives can significantly reduce the environmental impact and the use of scarce resources like water and farmland,” the company said.
On 29 and 30 May Vivera will officially present its plant-based steak at the PLMA exhibition in Amsterdam.
Vivera's range is already available in 23 European countries and around 25,000 supermarkets.