British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has added a new vegan sandwich to its lunchtime meal deal in partnership with French plant-based bacon producer La Vie.
Sold under Sainsbury’s Plant Pioneers brand, the VLT contains La Vie bacon with lettuce, tomato, and vegan baconnaise. As part of the meal deal, customers can get the sandwich along with a snack and a drink for a total of £3.50. The VLT is now available at over 800 Sainsbury’s stores UK-wide.
The launch comes after Sainsbury’s became one of the first UK retailers to stock La Vie bacon and lardons, following a successful marketing campaign by the French brand last year. La Vie has since seen considerable success in the UK, becoming permanently available at Burger King stores and Breakfast Club cafes across the country.
According to La Vie, the plant-based pork products are “flying off the shelves”; the company attributes this success to its strategy of only launching products when they appear to be at taste parity with their conventional counterparts. Speaking to vegconomist in an interview earlier this year, CMO Romain Jolivet claimed that the brand had achieved this in two different certified studies, including among meat-loving French consumers.
La Vie uses three different technologies to produce plant-based bacon that it claims is indistinguishable from the real thing: a unique plant-based fat, lean plant-based meat that does not require a texturing agent, and a method of adhering the two.
“Our ‘competitor’, the meat industry, is a giant against whom we cannot fight without being bold and accepting taking some risks,” Jolivet told vegconomist. “So far, the results are outstanding, both in terms of consumer response, awareness, and image. We see La Vie becoming the largest pork brand in the world, without touching a single pig.”meat pork burger plant-based industry