Could plant-based alternatives help the ‘meat aisle’ become the ‘protein aisle’?

The continued growth of plant-based meat alternatives is leading us towards a time where supermarket meat aisles will become the ‘protein aisle’.

Rather than stocking the shelves full of meat from animals they will also include plant-based products and cell-cultured meat, giving shoppers a great choice of protein to choose from whether they’re vegan, vegetarian, meat-eating or flexitarian.

Watch Meatless Farm CEO Rob Woodall discuss the future of protein aisles with Cheddar

“The vision is that you walk into a supermarket and it’s no longer called the meat aisle but it’s called the protein aisle—where there is a whole bunch of protein, some of which is from animals and hopefully a lot which is not,” Meatless Farm founder Morten Toft Bech told MarketWatch.

He urged retailers to be “brave”, pointing to Sainsbury’s as an example, who trialled positioning a range of meat alternatives directly alongside meat options in 20 stores around the UK.

“One of the challenges is that vegetarians and vegans don’t really want to go down the meat aisle,” he said.

“The solutions for retailers is dual locate – they should have a vegan aisle but then start to drive a bit of a range in the meat aisle, or the protein aisle.”

“The movement is so big, whether it’s meat reducers or vegetarians, there’s an opportunity to do both.”