Aisles Abroad: Asda's one-stop shop for plant-based products

The chain's "vegan butcher counter" aims to save shoppers the scavenger hunt of buying plant-based items. Similar concepts are starting to take hold in the U.S.


Catherine Douglas Moran, GroceryDive

April 26, 2021


Just a few weeks away from the New Year, Asda decided it needed to try something new to harness the popularity of plant-based foods.


The British supermarket chain had initially approached Kbox Global, a startup that specializes in revamping commercial kitchen space, in December to talk about food delivery. But about 10 days into discussions, the grocer ran the idea for a vegan butcher counter by the London-based firm, said Salima Vellani, Kbox’s founder and CEO. The launch would coincide with Veganuary, a monthlong challenge in January for U.K. consumers to follow a vegan diet.


“The U.K. shuts down pretty much all December, and we're in the middle of a pandemic, and [we said,] ‘Are you serious?’ They’re like, ‘Yeah, we’re very serious.’” Vellani said.


The teams got to work and by early January, the grocer announced the six-month trial for the vegan butcher counter at its Watford store outside London. Called Veelicious, the pilot aims to save shoppers the scavenger hunt of finding plant-based items by consolidating them in one section.


While its branding indicates a focus on meat alternatives, Veelicious offers much more than that...