Tesco is dropping deli in response to plant-based preference, says GlobalData, as 62% of people try to reduce red meat consumption

Following the announcement from Tesco that it will cut 1,600 jobs and close its meat, fish and deli counters in 317 stores;

Ana Purcaroiu, Senior Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“Consumers are shifting towards plant-based products, with 62%* of people surveyed by GlobalData actively trying to reduce red meat, or eat it in moderation— and 65% reporting the same for dairy. In this light, divesting deli counters certainly makes sense.

“People will increasingly base their choice of retailer on the availability of plant-based products, with the younger generations leading the trend. GlobalData’s survey also revealed that 21% of UK millennials claim that the availability of special dietary products is the most influential factor when deciding where to do their grocery shopping*.

“Tesco has a growing number of high-quality items in its plant-based ranges—the Wicked Kitchen collection, for example—which should be in its favor. However, while the retailer is making all the right moves (and keeping on track with social responsibility policies, to boot), such a high number of layovers will also negatively impact its reputation. Perhaps Tesco could have kept the counters (and jobs!) open but tempted in the younger generations with vegetarian and vegan alternatives, or offered custom-weight meats and meat alternatives to their delivery and online offerings. Either way, striking the right balance is crucial when adapting to evolving trends.”

* GlobalData’s 2021 Q4 Consumer Survey, November 2021, 500 UK respondents

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