Supermarket sandwiches ‘still too meaty’ amid alternative protein use rise


Josie Clarke, PA Media (UK)

June 21, 2022


The UK’s supermarket sandwich sector is “still too meaty” but there has been a significant jump in the use of alternative proteins as fillers, according to a survey.


The use of alternative proteins as sandwich fillers has increased by 620% since 2019, a survey of 420 sandwiches from 14 retailers and food service outlets by the Eating Better sustainable food alliance found.


However, many major supermarkets have reduced or dropped their plant-based sandwich offerings, while others are charging more for climate-friendly fillings.


Eating Better said Tesco’s vegan sandwich range had shrunk by 28% since 2019, while Morrisons and Asda have entirely removed their plant-based sandwich options.


Vegan sandwiches also tended to be more expensive, costing 15% more at Sainsbury’s than its meat offer, the survey found.


On average, plant-based options are the most expensive sandwich type, making the most sustainable option less accessible, and particularly so in a cost-of-living crisis, Eating Better said.


A poll by the organisation found 95% of people eat sandwiches for lunch and 60% are willing to eat less meat, with cost and health the main drivers.


This year’s survey found that 84% of sandwiches contained meat, fish or cheese – a drop of 1% on the last study three years ago.


Meat was the main ingredient in 59% of sandwiches. Of these, 38% contained red or processed meat and 28% contained chicken.


Eating Better executive director Simon Billing said: