ABP has launched its first fresh plant based meat-free brand for distribution in the UK. The new brand is being called Equals and will be available to consumers next week.

The company say that Equals is a range of fresh plant based products with both texture and flavour to equal the meat eating experience designed to appeal to meat reducers and non-meat eaters alike. The first product to launch is a two quarter pounder meat free burger pack which is made from a mix of seasoned pea and soy proteins.

Darren Jones, Commercial Director for ABP UK 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 instore marketing and social media campaign, and is available in Asda stores.

ABP confirmed its plans to extend listings to other retailers and food service providers over the coming months. The move is part of the company’s multi-million pound investment in its branded and ready to cook meat and meat-free solutions, which complement ABP’s core processing business.

The company point to Kantar Research which claims there is a growing demand for meat free alternatives from consumers. One in twelve households allegedly now include some aspect of meat free alternatives as part of their weekly diet, while demand for vegetarian meal options by consumers has grown by 8% over the past 5 years. These figures are questioned by certain analysts however.

ABP first entered the meat free category in 2011 and since then it has grown to become a UK market leader for the production of own-label vegetable based meat free products. The company now employs over 100 people at its Eatwell meat-free processing facility in Liverpool.