Larger Tesco stores will be offering vegan alternatives in the meat aisles from Monday 8th April, in a new fixture so that customers will find both next to each other.

Derek Sarno, Tesco’s director of Plant-Based Innovation said: “We are seeing a new kind of shopper – more conscious of their own health and the environment and perfectly happy to make dietary changes such as becoming vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian to achieve those aims.

“Plant-based alternatives in general have become so high in quality that most life-long meat eaters are now including these foods as part of their diet. It makes sense to range them next to each other in the same aisle and bring a wider breadth of options available to choose from.”

Included in the new fixture will be vegan and vegetarian food products by established names such as Heck, Vivaris, Beyond Meat and Vegetarian Butcher.

Tesco believes the single biggest impact it can make in promoting health and sustainability in the next decade is through taste by encouraging shoppers to enjoy a diet of eating more vegetables, less meat and more plant-based alternatives.

However, the statement was challenged in January’s Kantar market research, showing that overall volumes for meat, fish and poultry had not fallen.

Other industry commentators also point to the potential health risk of cutting out red meat from a balanced diet.

The latest Kantar report suggested there was limited evidence of us becoming a nation of vegetarians and vegans, with only beef, lamb and turkey seeing volume declines in the January period.