THIS, the creator of hyper-realistic plant-based food, is launching into 412 ASDA stores this week following increased demand for its chicken and bacon alternatives made from peas and soya beans.
The UK plant-based meat company has seen sales grow 40% since last month during the second wave of Covid-19. The first wave saw its retail sales double (across Holland & Barrett, Waitrose, Ocado and Co-op) and the company anticipates similar growth as the pandemic continues into winter.
ASDA will sell the brand’s popular products, THIS isn’t Bacon (RRP £2.95) and THIS isn’t Chicken Salt & Pepper pieces, (RRP £3.65).
Having only just launched into Sainsbury’s two weeks ago and Tesco in June 2020, the national distribution deal with ASDA will make THIS™ available in three of the ‘big four’ supermarkets within five months.
The company’s growth also matches the shift towards plant-based diets, which has accelerated during the pandemic – one in four now think a vegan diet is more attractive compared to one in 10 before the crisis (Mintel) whilst a new report says Europe’s vegan alternatives market is worth €7.5 billion by 2025 compared to €4.4 billion in 2019 (ING).
The ASDA listing, together with Tesco and Sainsbury’s, all secured during Covid-19, will set THIS on track to record revenue of £7m this year.
Andy Shovel, co-founder of THIS, comments: “Launching into ASDA is a huge opportunity for us. The pandemic has definitely been a bit of a curveball but luckily people still like to eat. We’ve had to pivot our sales strategy from about 70% retail and 30% foodservice to mostly retail (85%) – fortunately,the demand for plant-based foods has really surged during the pandemic.
“We want THIS to smash through the plant-based stereotypes and show meat-eaters that they really don’t need to compromise when it comes to plant-based food. We launched just over a year ago – myself and co-founder Pete definitely had less grey hair back then but, being able to grow at such speed makes it worth it.”