Sainsbury’s is trialling a new range of 26 meat-alternative products that will now sit in its meat, fish, and poultry aisles across 20 stores nationwide.

The change is believed to mark the first time a UK supermarket has positioned a range of meat-alternatives directly alongside meat options in store.

The decision by Sainsbury’s aims to offer customers a different choice when browsing in the meat aisle by allowing them to consider a range of meat-free alternatives.

The range of meat-alternative products include a selection of vegetarian and vegan burgers, sausages, meat-free mince and more.

Sainsbury’s reports it has seen an 82% increase in customers searching for vegan products online, and a 65% increase in sales of plant-based products year-on-year.

Rosie Bambaji, plant-based buyer at Sainsbury’s, said: “We’re seeing increasing demand for plant-based products, and with the rise of ‘flexitarianism’ in the UK, we are exploring further ways to make popular meat-free options more accessible.

“We hope that this trial will make our customer’s shopping experience even more seamless, and we’re looking forward to hearing their feedback.”

Sainsbury’s has said the move aims to cater to customers’ changing lifestyles and eating habits, namely offering options those who enjoy meat, but are looking to switch to a more plant-based diet.

The trial has already started in 20 stores in the UK.