Plant-based food

Supermarkets do not sufficiently encourage a more plant-based diet

Supermarkets are not encouraging customers enough to eat more plant- based. All supermarkets show awareness
of the importance of the protein transition (the transition towards more plant-based proteins), but currently lack clear targets for increasing the sale of plant-based proteins at the expense of animal proteins.

The supermarkets’ assortments facilitate an unsustainably large animal protein intake. Two out of three researched ready-to-eat meals contained animal-based proteins and only four per cent of these meals are fully plant-based. Almost three out of four pre- packaged meat products come in (extra) large portions (>100 grams). Additionally, about seven out of ten protein-rich promotions consist of meat or fish as the main ingredient.

Every supermarket has at least one intervention in place to shift food habits towards a more plant-based diet. Examples include Carrefour’s Veggie Thursday, Colruyt’s inspiration for vegetarian and vegan recipes, such as the vegetarian
BBQ. However, none of the intervention measures have quantitative goals or are clearly described in policy documents.

Delhaize is the overall frontrunner in the protein transition, for example, by offering a relatively wide (but in absolute terms still limited) assortment of plant-based and vegetarian options.