Sobeys Inc. of Stellarton says it is the first Canadian grocery chain to introduce The Beyond Burger to its shelves across Canada, starting Friday.
The Beyond Burger is a plant-based burger, which has a reputation for being close to the taste and feel of real meat.
“We’re proud to give Canadians the first taste of The Beyond Burger at grocery retail in Canada,” said Pierre St-Laurent, Sobeys executive vice-president merchandising and Quebec.
In a company news release Thursday, Sobeys stated the plant-based food trend is growing among Canadians from varying dietary backgrounds — not exclusive to vegetarians.
The grocer quotes statistics suggesting 53 per cent of Canadian consumers eat meat alternatives, 18 per cent claiming to eat them multiple times a week.
“We know Canadians have been looking forward to the launch of Beyond Meat in retail and we’re grateful to forward-looking partners like Sobeys who recognize the importance of providing their customers with more diverse protein options,” Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat founder and CEO was quoted in the Sobeys statement.
Founded in 1907, Sobeys is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Co. Ltd., which is still controlled by the founding Sobey family of Pictou County.
Empire owns, affiliates or franchises about 1,500 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Farm Boy, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, Farm Boy and Lawtons Drug Stores, and more than 350 fuel outlets.