According to this report by UK NGO Eating Better, the proportion of UK supermarket ready meals that is plant-based has increased significantly, from 3% in 2018 to 16% in March 2020, with another 9% being vegetarian but not wholly plant-based. Morrisons, Asda and Aldi doubled the size of their meat free range in the last two years.
The report finds that the average price per portion was £2.48 for meat-based ready meals, £2.72 for fish-based meals, £2.07 for vegetarian meals and £2.46 for plant-based meals. At Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-op and Iceland, plant-based meals were the most expensive meal type.
Simon Billing, Executive Director of Eating Better said “Like it or not, ready meals are a mainstay of British eating. While there are now some exciting options from retailers, you're still going to have to hunt around to find plant-based options. Supermarkets should cater for consumer demand for more plant-based options at a price point that is more affordable than the meat range.”
Read the full report, Ready Meals 2020: Snapshot survey, here. See also the Foodsource building block What is ultra-processed food? And why do people disagree about its utility as a concept?