Veganuary craze continues at the Co-op
Veganuary is taking hold like Beatlemania, and the Co-op is looking to capture some of the £1Bn market
Veganuary: by now it’s in full swing for some, and in tatters for others (myself included: damn you, delicious leftover Christmas cake!). For those of us who are struggling to stay on the straight and narrow, you’ll be delighted to know that UK supermarket company, the Co-op, has made the biggest release of own-brand vegan goods by a supermarket on record. Now, it really shouldn’t be too difficult to stay plant-based when browsing the aisles!
The new range is named ‘GRO’, and includes 35 items that will be available in 300 supermarkets nationwide. Explaining the motives behind this, Jo Whitfield, CEO of Co-op Food said: ‘We have to provide fantastic products and services with strong ethics and a purposeful focus on convenience.’
To that end, many of the new products are ready meals or meal deal items. There is a large array of lunch-time salads and fake meat wraps, including a ‘Hoisin Du’k Wrap’ and a ‘Mango and Passionfruit Bircher’. This will be a welcome improvement to the meal deal aisle in Co-op for vegans: I know from experience that the falafel wrap starts to get tiresome after a few lunchtimes.
Their ready meals include a ‘Rainbow Roots and Veg Stew’, a ‘Creamy Coconut Curry’ and a ‘Tomato and Black Olive Bucatini’. And at only £2.95 for a 350g serving, this range is just about as kind on the wallet as it is the planet.
They also offer more traditional meat replacements that we’re used to seeing from Linda McCartney or Quorn, including mincemeat, meatballs, sausages and hot dogs. It will be interesting to see how these products compare to those from the likes of Linda McCartney, Quorn and Cauldron. Are the Co-op making improvements, or simply replicating the branded options?
Where the supermarket does seem to be stepping ahead of its competitors is in their burgers. The Co-op have created an enormous range, with two bean burgers, a veg burger, a beetroot burger, and three meat substitute burgers. One of these is the ‘incredible burger’, which is famed for being juicy and bloody just like the real thing. It is offering like these that might well bring meat lovers on side: as the substitutes become closer to the real thing, the trade off on taste is becoming negligible.