The British sausage-making company Heck has abandoned virtually all of its range of vegan products, stating that the market was not as popular as common perception would have it.
Heck, which is based in Yorkshire, northern England, is best known for its pork and chicken sausages, has dramatically downsized its vegan range from around 15 products down to just two as they were simply unpopular with customers.
Co-founder of the company, Andrew Keeble said: “We had a huge range of vegan products because like everyone else, we believed what was being written in the press.”
“If you look at the massive sort of Silicon Valley valuations out there, people were investing in vegan brands and they didn’t want to miss the next Google.”
Keeble went on to say: “The vegan market is really funny. We actually had some amazing products out there that were very functional, very good for your gut – [such as] one with quinoa and beetroot in it.
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“But the public somehow wasn’t quite ready for it yet. They didn’t want all that veg in the sausage.”
Andrew Keeble’s perception that a significant amount of the British public was ready to switch to a plant-based diet may in part owe to the government’s efforts to persuade the public they were ready.
In 2020 the UK government’s Behavioural Insights Team aka The Nudge Unit wrote a report called ‘A Menu for Change’, which detailed the methods for promotion and applied psychology to be deployed to persuade a change in eating habits, broadly speaking a mover away from meat eating.
Despite the report, investment and promotion sales of meat-free products declined last year and retailers cut back their ranges.
There was a fall of GBP 37.3m in meat-free products in the supermarkets over the year according to figures from NielsenIQ published by trade magazine The Grocer.