Beef processing giant ABP has launched a vegan burger as the company seeks a greater share of the growing market for meat-free food.
The two quarter pounder meat-free burger pack – made from a mix of seasoned pea and soya proteins – is the first product under a new ABP brand called Equals.
Equals is the company’s first fresh plant-based, meat-free brand for distribution in the UK.
Made at ABP’s Eatwell meat-free processing facility in Liverpool, the vegan burger is on sale in Asda supermarkets and online.
The packaging bears the words: “No meat. No compromise.”
ABP UK – the UK division of ABP Food Group – is one of the nation’s leading meat suppliers, working with more than 35,000 farmers to deliver a range of fresh and frozen meat products.
Texture and flavour
The company says its Equals range of products has both the texture and flavour to equal the meat-eating experience – and will appeal to meat reducers and non-meat eaters alike.
ABP UK commercial director Darren Jones said: “We are very excited about our first fresh brand launch into the meat-free category.
“Our core business is and will remain in beef but we recognise the growing demand for products that fit a flexitarian and meat-free lifestyle.
“As a business we have long invested in understanding market and consumer trends and we have a keen interest in exploring opportunities that provide consumers with choice.”
The Equals brand launch is being supported by a £250,000 in-store marketing and social media campaign and is available in Asda stores from this week.
ABP says it plans to increase sales of its Equals brand by selling through other retailers and food service providers over the coming months.
It says the move is part of a multi-million-pound investment in its branded and ready-to-cook meat and meat-free solutions, which complement ABP’s core processing business.
Kantar Research suggests growing demand for meat-free alternatives from consumers.
One in 12 households now include some aspect of meat-free alternatives as part of their weekly diet, while demand for vegetarian meal options has grown by 8% over the past five years.
ABP first entered the meat-free category in 2011 and has since has grown to become a UK market leader for own-label vegetable-based, meat-free products.