As meat-free products are growing by 13%, Chris Dillon speaks to retailer Adam Vincent to find out the three ways he keeps sales strong in his store.

Stock the right formats

Meat-free products are growing in popularity – and it’s not just vegetarians driving growth.

Many consumers are cutting down on meat for health and environmental reasons, with brands like Quorn and Linda McCartney providing a convenient substitute.

“Once upon a time, meat eaters buying Quorn would have been unheard of. Now, in our bay of cooked meat, we also have Quorn pepperoni, chicken and ham slices,” says Adam Vincent, who runs Dike & Sons in Stalbridge, Dorset.

“We have Quorn bacon flavour rashers, sausages and beef burgers, too, and we sell them all year round.”

Julian Cooke, Quorn head of category management, says: “Seventy-three per cent of meat-free shoppers are meat reducers.” He adds that the value of a meat-free shopper basket is four times higher than average, making it a profitable area if you manage it well.

Top 10 lines in independents & symbols

Quorn Mince 300g

Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausage 300g

Quorn Sausages 336g

Quorn Pieces 300g

Quorn Burger 300g

Birdseye Vegetable Finger 284g

Birdseye Vegetable Burger 250g

Linda McCartney Cheese & Onion Plait

Linda McCartney Vegetarian Burger 200g

Quorn Lasagne 300g

Use clever merchandising

Quorn Mince meat-freeTraditionally, stores have had dedicated vegetarian displays,  but the shift in meat eaters buying veggie products means it’s a better idea to stock meat-free lines alongside their meat equivalent.

Vincent says: “We’ve got three metres of ready meals merchandised ‘good, better’, best’ and we stock Quorn tikka masala rice, lasagne and cottage pie there too. We’ve got a big range in the frozen food section, rather than having a meat-free bay.”

More than nine and a half million shoppers buy meat-free products, so merchandising them in this way makes sense to create broader appeal.

Grow your range

You should start with brands that attract core shoppers. “The Quorn brand accounts for more than half of all meat-free sales in both chilled and frozen,” Cooke says.

Once you’ve established your meat-free range, you will find that you start to become a destination for those kinds of products.

These shoppers tend to spend a bit more on these products, helping you grow your profits.

“We sell the Cauldron brand too, which is a bit more premium. We sell three times as much Quorn,” says Vincent. “We also stock Linda McCartney and Amy’s Kitchen, which is a bit more niche as it’s vegetarian and gluten-free, but has premium pricing.”