Vegan News UK: Sainsbury’s Launch UK’s First Plant-Based Butcher – Sign of The Times

Sainsbury’s have announced they will launch a “meat-free butchers” in east London this month. The retailers have said they are getting behind Meat-Free Week from June 21st by encouraging the public to sample more plant-based products by opening a meat-free butcher’s shop. When we say sample, we do mean sample! Customers will be given the opportunity to sample for free many of the meat-free products Sainsbury’s now stock, as well as having the best opportunity to fill up their fridges with cruelty free plant-based meats.

The pop-up butchers shop will also feature an “in-store butcher” who is specifically trained in plant-based cooking. The plant-based butcher will share recipe advice and tips to encourage awareness and the use of more plant-based meats and foods. Customers can ask questions and get ideas about how best to cook and eat certain products they may be unsure of.

They plan to keep a traditional butchers style theme with plant-based meats hanging up in the window including Sainsbury’s “Shroomdog sausages”, with a stock of over 20 plant-based meat-free products There will be everything from vegan steaks, bacon, sausages and chorizo to the now wonderfully popular BBQ Pulled Jackfruit (as we reported last week, Morrison’s now stock BBQ Pulled Jackfruit at their salad bars)

Sainsbury’s and all other retailers have reported a huge increase in the demand for vegan and plant-based products; clearly they are taking on the challenge of meeting the demand very seriously. Sainsbury’s themselves now stock over 100 meat-free products.

Sainsbury’s also launched an ‘industry-leading’ trial cross 20 of its stores which saw a meat-free alternative section placed into the meat, fish and poultry aisles – otherwise known as the death aisles! They placed a range of 26 meat-free alternatives including Vegan Chorizo Shroomdogs, Juicy Jackfruit Burgers, Veggie Fish Burgers and Vegan Smoked Hot Dogs. This trial followed a previous successful trial for the supermarket chain in 2018 when they located vegan mince by Danish brand Naturli next to the flesh equivalent.

Sainsbury’s have now reported an 82% increase in customers searching for vegan products, and a 65% increase of plant-based products year-on-year according to statistics released earlier in the year.

We have no doubt at all that will grow as the year progresses and come Veganuary 2020 – who knows what other products and innovations will be launched!

Sgaia Streaky Rashers

In central Scotland we were lucky enough to have our very own plant-based butcher who launched at the very first VegFest Scotland back in 2015 in the form of Sgaia Foods. Italian couple Hilary & Alberto who own Sgaia have created some of the best plant-based “mheats” available. They have also created plant-based cheeses and for vegan festivals, they even created a vegan “sunny-side up” fried egg with a beautiful egg white and the most amazing runny yolk.

You can get recipes online to create your own vegan fried egg – click here if you want to give it a bash – let us know how your get on!


Sainsbury’s Meat-Free Butchers will be located at 146 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 6DG. The pop up will be open to the public from Friday 21st June to Sunday 23rd June. 11.00 – 20.00  on Friday – 10.00 – 20.00 on Saturday and Sunday.


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Sainsbury’s images used with kind permission of Sainsbury’s media/press team