Asda on becoming the UK’s first retailer to launch an ambient vegan aisle

British supermarket Asda speaks to The Vegan Review about its new ambient vegan aisle, months after releasing its fresh Plant Based range.

Asda is the UK’s first retailer to have an ambient aisle dedicated to plant-based products, having launched it on September 21.

The supermarket is rolling out 104 new vegan products as part of the move across 359 of its stores. The plant-based products will be displayed in two exclusively dedicated bays; a majority of stores will have seen the launch this Monday, with the rest following next week. The savoury bay will include proteins, cooking sauces and condiments, while the other will house snacks and sweet lines.

Among the new products will be Asda’s own-label meals, but also Galaxy’s vegan chocolate bars, an exclusive falafel mix by BOSH!, Vego and Mrs Crimble’s. With UK supermarkets seeing a rise in the number of ready vegan meals, Asda has the second-highest proportion of ready meals that are plant-based, at 16%.

Searches for plant-based products soared by 275% since 2019 on the retailer’s website. Research conducted by Asda and Claro shows that 17% of UK households are reducing their meat intake or following a vegan diet.

How does Asda plan on making the section appealing to non-vegans? Asda spokesperson Claire Wilkinson told The Vegan Review: “We hope by keeping all plant-based items together and introducing new products, this will show the wide variety of plant-based alternatives available and inspire customers who are trying to reduce their meat intake or live a more flexitarian lifestyle.”

Talking about the research, she added: “Our key takeout was to merchandise all items together, so our customers can access everything they need in one place, making their shopping experience quick and easy. Also by increasing our offering, we can provide inspiration and give more customers a choice.”

Asda, known for its low prices, says the cost of products would be “market-leading”. In January, the supermarket released its own ‘Plant Based’ line of vegan meals and go-to food in the fresh aisle.

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