Readers' Blog: Price is still the one drawback of ‘V-shopping’

The march of violence-free food onto our supermarket shelves continues apace. 

V-shopping sees vegan/vegetarian food and plant-based food entering the product ecosystem within our supermarkets.

After years of retail aridness in which vegan/vegetarian food could only be found in health food shops, a move to mainstream supermarkets is to be welcomed.

Taking a good sniff of the food trend wind and prompted by customer feedback supermarket companies have responded to the hockey stick growth of vegetarianism and veganism.

Supermarket shelves now groan under the weight of a range of vegan/vegetarian food and plant-based food that is nutritious, tasty and devoid of creature fear. 

The arrival of V-shopping does have only drawback. Price.

There is a societal stereotype that being vegan/vegetarian makes you a member of the high-income bracket who, in the pursuit of a clean lifestyle, rarely thinks about price.

But, in reality, humane eaters in the main exist on modest incomes. 

For them setting a weekly shopping budget is a need within the confines of a humane diet.

Supermarket owners have pitched humane products at too high a price. 

While some everyday food items are within a reasonable price range most vegan/vegetarian and plant-based products are expensive.

What is not needed is slick humane product marketing campaigns aided by fancy packaging all of which is paid for by the shopper via the price.

An untapped market exists for a range of everyday vegan/vegetarian and plant-based products at an affordable price. 

Supermarkets companies have to meet the humane shopper halfway.

Supporters of violence-free food will support the effort by supermarkets to bring humane to the grocery aisles.

A sensible pricing system on violence free products will generate sales from those well aware that behind the trite statement, farm to fork, a heartbeat must be stilled.

John Tierney

Ashtown Fews

Co Waterford

This reader's opinion was originally published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on May 1, 2019

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