Sainsbury’s last week trialed the UK’s first Vegetable Butcher in its Wandsworth superstore, South West London.
Working with vegetable expert Amber Locke, the service aimed to show shoppers new ways vegetables can be incorporated into everyday meals. This follows a year on year surge in Sainsbury’s vegetable sales – with avocado (147%), asparagus spears (118%), broccoli (40%), courgettes (30%) and bunched beetroot (25%) leading the way.
The retailer said that vegetables are becoming more central to British eating with over two thirds (68%) of households now enjoying at least one vegetarian meal a week – even if they are meat eaters. Families are also increasingly replacing carbohydrates with on-trend vegetable alternatives, with new Sainsbury’s products ‘courgetti’ (courgette spaghetti) and ‘boodles’ (butternut squash noodles) exceeding its expectations by selling an average of nearly 30,000 units per week since their launch in January 2016.
During the trial period up until Saturday, the Vegetable Butcher showed customers at the Wandsworth store new ways to prepare classics such as carrots, broccoli and cucumbers using more than six different techniques including ribbon cut, spiralised, mandolin sliced, wave-cut and julienne.
Amber Locke, who manned The Vegetable Butcher, said: “I’ve been trying to use vegetables in an exciting and inspiring way for years but I know it’s new for a lot of people who are used to the traditional ways of cutting up and cooking courgette, carrot and broccoli. I have a passion for showing people how fun and delicious vegetables can be and, more importantly, how you can avoid wasting parts of them that may seem unusable.”
Georgina Lunn, product developer for fresh produce at Sainsbury’s, commented: “We are always looking for new and interesting ways to inspire our customers. The innovative new products we’ve recently introduced to the prepared vegetable category, such as courgetti and beetroot rice, have been really popular, so we love the idea of an in-store Vegetable Butcher, to build on this success and hope it will be well-received by our shoppers too.”