The renowned global retail giant has taken a significant step by introducing a pricing strategy that places plant-based burgers on par with their animal-based counterparts.

In a remarkable shift within the supermarket industry, Lidl, the renowned global retail giant, has taken a significant step by introducing a pricing strategy that places plant-based burgers on par with their animal-based counterparts. This move is a response to the ever-expanding and fiercely competitive field of plant-based products that has been experiencing exponential growth in recent years.

Christoph Graf, the Head of Merchandise at Lidl, explained the rationale behind this decision, stating, “With the price adjustment of our Vemondo products, we want to invite customers to explore plant-based alternatives without cost being the decisive criterion.”

This announcement is a direct result of Lidl’s commitment to sustainability, a strategy that was unveiled in February of this year. The company has declared its intention to reduce its reliance on animal-based products while simultaneously bolstering its plant-based offerings. Lidl proudly boasts an extensive range of vegan items, with the current count exceeding 650 products, including over 100 Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) in their award-winning Vemondo range. This Vemondo range, introduced in 2020, has gained recognition for its commitment to achieving a climate-neutral status, which was successfully attained in 2021.

Placing meat-free products alongside animal-based counterparts 

Lidl’s forward-thinking approach extends beyond just pricing. Earlier this year, Lidl Netherlands implemented a strategy to place their top four best-selling meat alternatives right alongside traditional meat products in the refrigerated aisle. This initiative is aimed at encouraging flexitarians, those who occasionally eat meat but are open to plant-based alternatives, to make more sustainable choices when shopping.

This strategy has been trialed in various markets over the years, gaining attention when Kroger in the United States implemented a similar approach in 2019. In 2020, the Plant-Based Foods Association (PBFA) also conducted an extensive trial, concluding that “it is important for retailers to place plant-based meat where shoppers expect to find it: in the meat department.” Notably, the PBFA trial found that following the placement of plant-based meat alongside animal products, average sales for plant-based items surged by an impressive 23%. The benefits and challenges of such retail placement were thoroughly analyzed by Vegconomist.

Intriguingly, consumer research conducted by Attest revealed that consumers are significantly more likely to purchase vegan products when they are stocked next to conventional items. In fact, 32% of respondents who ordinarily do not buy plant-based products stated that they would be more inclined to do so if they were displayed alongside their animal-based counterparts.

Balancing protein sources

Lidl Germany has taken a pioneering step by publicly disclosing the proportion of animal-based protein sources compared to plant-based protein sources in its product range. In the 2022 business year, the ratio of plant-based to animal-based protein sources in Lidl’s assortment in Germany stands at 11% to 89%. For dairy products, the ratio is 6% to 94%.

In response to these findings, Lidl has committed to concrete targets. By the year 2030, Lidl Germany aims to increase the share of plant-based protein sources, including legumes, nuts, seeds, as well as plant-based meat, egg, and fish products, to 20%. Simultaneously, they plan to increase the share of alternative dairy products to 10%.

Christoph Graf emphasized, “Only by enabling our customers to make increasingly conscious and sustainable purchasing decisions and fair choices can we help shape the transformation to a sustainable diet. For us, this equally includes remaining in active dialogue with our partners in German agriculture and continuously developing our animal assortment in terms of transparency and husbandry methods.”

For further insights into Lidl’s protein strategy, you can visit their website at www.lidl.de/Proteinstrategie