Albert Heijn, operating nearly 1,000 grocery stores in the Netherlands, has doubled its line of vegan and vegetarian store brand items, rolling out 70 own brand items this fall. The retailer said it has the largest vegetarian and vegan range in the region.
“Our mission is to make better food accessible to everyone. For a while meat played the leading role on our plates and that has changed in recent years,” said Anita Scholte Op Reimer, director of quality and sustainability, Albert Heijn. “That is good news because eating meat has a greater impact on the environment and on your health than is thought. If we eat vegetarian and plant-based foods more often, we can jointly reduce a lot of CO2 emissions. That is better for the animals and healthier for ourselves. As Albert Heijn, we find it very important to make our contribution.”
The latest additions include vegetable spreads, sliced cheeses, and vegan meat products like boneless wings, burgers, chicken fillet and sausage. The company said more than half of the Dutch are flexitarian and eat more vegetables and vegetarian products, adding that the companies range of meat substitutes has grown considerably in three years and the quality and taste of the meat substitutes, vegetable and vegan products are getting better.
Albert Heijn is a partner of the Green Protein Alliance to stimulate the plant-based diet even more . The Green Protein Alliance aims to ensure that by 2025 the Dutch will obtain a minimum of 50% of protein from plant sources and a maximum of 50% from animal sources, and that the total protein consumption will have decreased by 5% compared to 2015.