UK retailer Waitrose has announced that it is introducing 30 new dishes to its meat-free range, increasing the store space devoted to vegetarian foods by around 35%.
The private-label range includes vegetable-based dishes such as cauliflower cheese croquettes, beetroot burgers, and a rainbow vegetable stew.
There are also 11 new products that are suitable for vegans, including a 100% dairy-free spreadable cheese, vegan pulled pork, and handmade tofu.
"This is our largest-ever meat-free range," said Chloe Graves, vegetarian buyer at Waitrose.
"Vegetarian meals are one of our fastest-growing categories, with sales up 14% year on year, and we know this will only get bigger."
Waitrose's new range also features an exclusive co-branded initiative with the Vegetarian Butcher, which works with soya protein as a meat alternative.
The Dutch company has teamed up with Waitrose to develop a range of ready meals, including tikka masala, lasagne and Thai green curry, which are all similar to the retailer's meat versions, but are suitable for vegetarians.
"There's little doubt that plant protein will play an increasingly important part in a healthy, balanced diet in the future," added Graves.
"By working with the Vegetarian Butcher, we can offer our shoppers a first-to-market high-quality replacement protein that is more akin to the texture of meat than anything we have stocked before."
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.