Sainsbury’s has launched the UK’s first traditional style butchers offering customers an array of cuts and joints derived from 100% plant-based alternatives.

Open for three days starting today (21st June) in Bethnal Green, customers of the East-End butchers can choose from over a dozen plant-based alternatives, before they are weighed, wrapped and put into customers’ own bags and containers to take home.

‘Meaty’ cuts, joints and strings of sausages found in the shop will be made from the likes of mushroom, jackfruit and even pea protein.

Sainsbury’s has seen a 65% increase in sales of plant-based products year-on-year – with sales having doubled in the last year compare to the previous year.

The retailer explained that the meat-free butchers has been designed to highlight how far vegan food has come over the years, showing customers the breadth of choice now available.

The pop up will be open to the public 21st-23rd June.

Research also suggests that over half (56%) of Britons have never tried what they would consider to be a ‘meat alternative’… even with 52% hoping to increase their number of meat-free days.

The top reasons for this are said to be; worrying that they won’t like the taste (40%), not knowing how to cook plant-based foods (36%) and believing that plant-based food is only meant for vegans (24%).

The in-store butcher will be specially trained for plant-based cooking, sharing recipe advice and tips to help customers get involved in ‘World Meat Free Week’, which encourages people to try more plant-based foods.

Buyer for Sainsburys, James Hamilton said: “Whilst we’re seeing a huge climb in sales of our plant-based foods, we know from conversations with customers that there is a sense of trepidation about cooking with them.

“So, our Meat-Free Butchers has been launched to encourage people to get up close to the products, try what they like and take home some valuable cooking advice and recipe inspiration.

“We have carefully selected the products on offer from the growing range of over 100 plant-based products now available at Sainsbury’s, so customers are in for a real meat-free treat when visiting the butchers!”