The Vegetarian Butcher and The Happy Pear open Waitrose's vegan section

The Happy Pear products

Pop into a Waitrose and you should spot far more meat-free options from this month. In fact, in 134 branches there'll be a dedicated vegan section featuring 125 ingredients, ready meals and other products, including exclusive brands The Happy Pear and The Vegetarian Butcher.

The retailer says its total vegan and vegetarian offering has expanded by 60 per cent, to meet demand: it saw sales of veggie food rise by 34 per cent compared to the same time last year and industry predictions suggest the trend will continue.

"Our current selection of products has been selling really well week after week, with requests for more choice coming from our customers and Partners, so we could clearly see there was an appetite to have more vegetarian and vegan options in our shops," says Chloe Graves, Waitrose Chilled Vegetarian and Vegan Buyer.

"With flexitarianism also on the rise, we have made sure we have dishes and ingredients for those looking to opt for a meat-free meal, that was suitable for the whole family to enjoy."

Waitrose Veg Butcher Happy Pear 4

The Happy Pear brand has been created by wholefood chefs David and Stephen Flynn, in partnership with Waitrose, and 'are all made from natural ingredients and are great for all lifestyles and those wanting to eat more veg', they say.

The Vegetarian Butcher is a Dutch meat substitute brand, offering products including vegan-friendly 'chicken' nuggets, and something called 'Little Willies'.

You'll also find brands like Linda McCartney, Tideford, Koko, BOL, Cauldron, Heck and Higgidy in the new vegan bays.

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