Waitrose is set to increase its vegan and vegetarian assortment by 60 per cent with the launch of 50 new products.
The range, which will be launched in 125 stores from 4 June, will see more vegan products available in all shops.
Among the new products are two exclusive brands: The Happy Pear and The Vegetarian Butcher.
The former was created by renowned plant-based and wholefood chef duo David and Stephen Flynn, while the latter is a Dutch company specialising in meat substitutes, made using plant-based proteins.
Kantar UK Insights predict 2018 will be the year that Brits go vegan and plant-based diets go mainstream. This is being reflected in salesof vegetarian food at Waitrose, which are up 34 per cent against the same time last year.
In a supermarket first, the retailer will also have a dedicated vegan section, which will be signposted in its shops.
The range will feature 125 ingredients, ready meals and other meat-free products designed to make shopping easier for customers looking for vegetarian and vegan options.
Chloe Graves, Waitrose chilled vegetarian and vegan buyer, said: “Our current selection of products has been selling really well week after week, with requests for more choice coming from our customers and partners, so 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. 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.”
David and Stephen Flynn, co-founders of The Happy Pear, added: “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.
“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.”