Tulip has created a new vegan brand that will be launched exclusively in the Co-op this month under the Green Butcher brand.
The ‘vegan slices with peppers’ were developed in partnership with Co-op to ‘meet the needs of the increasing number of consumers looking to switch to a vegetarian and vegan diet’, Tulip said. High in protein, low in saturated fats and containing real peppers, the soy and pea protein slices will also appeal to the third of shoppers who are looking to eat more healthily.
The move, while clearly a response to the growing demand for vegan products, is likely to raise eyebrows within the pig industry, particularly the use of the word ‘butcher’ in the branding.
The vegan slices will sit in the cooked meat fixture at Co-op stores, retailing at RRP £1.75. Tulip, the sale of which to Pilgrim’s Pride was confirmed today, stressed that is also developing further innovations to launch as part of The Green Butcher brand in the next 12 months.
Sam Reader, NPD & Innovation Controller, Tulip Ltd, said: We’ve worked hard to develop this product in collaboration with Co-op and the slices demonstrate our capabilities as a modern food manufacture to meet the evolving needs of the market.
“We knew that if we were going to create a vegan product, we wanted to offer a healthier option for consumers and with our slices containing real vegetables, we have a big point of differentiation from other products in the sector.”
Zoë Bruce, Customer Director – Co-op, Tulip, said: “We have a strong strategic relationship with Co-op, working closely to share knowledge and encourage innovation to help both parties grow. The Green Butcher product will be a great addition to Co-op’s successful sandwich slice range. This is an exciting new journey that demonstrates our ability to meet changing consumer needs and we’re looking forward to developing the range further.”
Mark Cloudy, Co-op Cooked Meats Buyer, said: “We’re always looking at ways we can evolve our product portfolio in order to appeal to the next generation of shoppers and cater for the growing demand for meat-free options. The slices will fill a gap in our cooked meats fixture and give our customers more choice in-store. We’re looking forward to exploring more options as part of The Green Butcher collection.”