A beef processing company which works with 35,000 farmers has launched a vegan burger to appeal to 'meat reducers and non-meat eaters'.
ABP Food Group, which supplies 60 retailers and food service companies, has launched its first plant-based meat-free brand for distribution in the UK.
The new brand is being called 'Equals' and will be available to consumers in Asda stores this week.
The first product to launch is a two-quarter pounder meat-free burger pack which is made from a mix of seasoned pea and soy proteins.
Darren Jones, Commercial Director for ABP UK, said the company is 'very excited' to launch its first meat-free product.
“Our core business is and will remain in beef but we recognise the growing demand for products that fit a flexitarian and meat-free lifestyle,” he said.
“As a business, we have long invested in the understanding market and consumer trends and we have a keen interest in exploring opportunities that provide consumers with choice.”
The Equals brand launch is being supported by a £250,000 instore marketing and social media campaign, and plans to extend listings to other retailers and food service providers over the coming months.
ABP first entered the meat-free category in 2011, and employs over 100 people at its meat-free processing facility in Liverpool.
According to research, there is a growing demand for meat-free alternatives from consumers, with 68 per cent of 18-24-year-olds drawn to a vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian diet.
The move by ABP follows Sainsbury's creating its first 'meat-alternative section' to be placed in the meat, fish and poultry aisles in an attempt to capitalise on the vegan market.