Why Is Plant-Based ‘Meat’ So Damn Expensive?

“I’ll try to eat less meat this week”, you think, as you pick up a plant-based alternative to your usual beef burger. Save the planet, and all that.

Then you discover it’s almost double the price of the meaty version just down the aisle. Sigh. Sorry Greta, beef wins.

Supermarkets have expanded their ranges of meat-alternative products at a rate of knots in the last five years, with a variety of items that would tempt even the most ardent carnivore. There’s one problem, though: the price.

Plant-based alternatives to regular meat products often cost more per kg than the real deal. Take Bird’s Eye nuggets as an example. A standard packet of the brand’s chicken dippers costs £1.55 for 220g, or £7.05 per kg, at Tesco. The brand’s vegan alternative – green cuisine chicken-free dippers – costs £2.50 for 220G, or £11.37 per kg.

You’ll find plenty of other price hikes across branded and supermarket own-brand products, spanning meat-free burgers, sausages and more. It’s making flexitarianism inaccessible for some, and simply unappealing to others.

So why are these products so pricey?

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