Main own plant-based brands
Love Your Veg!, By Sainsbury’s (some plant-based products).
- As the UK’s second largest grocer, with a market share of 15%, Sainsbury’s has significant exposure to animal proteins. According to market analysis, the company also the second largest beef market share in the UK and is currently exploring options to vertically integrate its beef supply. Around 98% of Sainsbury’s revenues come from food, general merchandising and clothes sales (split from food sales is not provided).
- Sainsbury’s has improved its communication/disclosure on alternative proteins. While it has expanded its range of plant-based/alternative protein products for some years, it has been reluctant to address the materiality of the issue for the company. In 2019, they released a Future of Foods report that publicly recognises the company’s role in supporting a protein transition. It has also added specific resourcing to increase its portfolio of products and are trialling ways to merchandise alternative protein products along with their conventional counterparts (to increase consumer uptake).
- The company’s work to address the risks of animal protein sourcing (through a Scope 3 target on agriculture, a commitment to undertake a scenario analysis on animal proteins as part of their TCFD analysis, etc) is in planning stages as it still is investigating strategies to progress these initiatives.
- The company seems to be tracking data but has not yet shared any data /metrics to indicate exposure to meat and/or alternative proteins across categories.
- We would encourage the company to continue to broaden its sustainability focus and build a more strategic plan to transition its product portfolio (through, for example, category-based targets) to ensure any exposure to animal proteins is in line with a low-carbon strategy.
– Scope 3 and TCFD being proactively worked on as part of our new corporate CR&S beyond 2020 sustainability strategy.
– As part of our Beyond 2020 Sustainability Strategy we are developing a new approach to how we source our key materials sustainably. We have been working hard on our Sustainability Standards programme in the past for our 2020 commitment
– Meat, dairy and eggs – we have a number of farmer development groups where we work with farmers directly on their on-farm practice and how we help them to improve, with a focus on environmental impact but also animal health and welfare. Please see the following links which includes our work directly with farmers, specific work on those areas, and also relationships we have with organisations such as the Woodland Trust, or RSPCA etc.
– Last June was the launch of our Love Your Veg! brand which is all vegetarian and/or vegan, and this range has seen rapid expansion and investment into innovation across meat alternatives, frozen, ready meals and pizzas, and is now over 30 lines. We plan to continue to expand this range in the future.
– We have over 10 product developers actively working on plant-based product development across our food categories.
– We are partnering with Oxford University, the Wellcome Trust and others on LEAP (Livestock, Environment and People), a world-leading research project. This aims to provide evidence and tools to promote healthy and sustainable diets. As part of this collaboration we have been working on the following projects:
o Testing messaging on promotional coupons to encourage customers to try meat free products
o Trialling siting meat-free products in our meat, fish and poultry aisle with messaging to encourage customers to try meat alternatives
o Testing meat-alternative names on GOL e-spots e.g. “Try meat-free” or “Try plant-based” to see which attracts more customers (measured by click-through sales)
o We plan to test increasing the ratio of meat-free to meat containing ready meals in convenience stores
o We also plan to test social-norm messaging either on GOL e-spots or banners depending on the outcome of trial
– In terms of communication we partnered with the WRI and facilitated a trial in our in store cafes to advance understanding of category naming / product titles and descriptions and their effect on changing customer behaviour. We have embedded this learning into our Product Development to ensure we are using language on plant-based products that doesn’t alienate customers groups and maximises the products appeal. For example calling our successful new sausage alternative ‘shroomdogs’, instead of the traditional ‘meat free sausage’. The company has also recently announced that it will be the first UK retailer to stock meat-alternatives alongside traditional meat, fish, and poultry aisles. This is currently a trial in a representative amount of stores, which aims to supplement existing ranges with alternative proteins and plant based ranges. If the trial is successful in making meat-alternative options more accessible and changes customer behaviour, it could be rolled out across additional stores in the future.
Tracking & Reporting:
At our meeting we discussed the challenge with setting meaningful targets for this transition and we are engaged and planning to take part in the roundtable meeting in October. We are developing our Beyond 2020 CR & S Strategy and as part of this we are quantifying our scope 3 emissions with an external third party. Following this we will develop programmes as part of our strategy to mitigate our scope 3 impact where possible.