The UK’s first fully-vegan butcher is about to open, selling meat-free pastrami, ‘lobstah’ salad, and soya burgers. Take a look inside.

  • The UK’s first vegan butcher is opening on Sunday to mark World Vegan Day.
  • Rudy’s, in Islington, London, will sell meat-free versions of traditional butcher products, including pulled pork, pepperoni, and even the components of a Full English breakfast.
  • The UK’s meat-free market is booming – even though just 1% of Britons are vegan.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It may look like a traditional butcher selling rows of fresh meat — but Rudy’s in Islington, London is strictly vegan.

It will become the UK’s first vegan butcher when it opens on Sunday to mark World Vegan Day.

Rudy's Vegan Butcher
The store looks like a traditional butcher shop, but only sells meat-free alternatives. Rudy’s Vegan Butcher

The butcher sells only meat-free alternatives of traditional butcher products.

These includes vegan versions of pulled pork and meatballs alongside ready-made meals like “lobstah” salad and “chilli-non-carne.”

Rudy's Vegan Diner

The substitutes are made from soya and seitan, and are designed to mimic the texture and taste of meat.

The store sells everything you need for a vegan Full-English breakfast, it says, with meat- and dairy-free remakes of bacon, scrambled eggs, black pudding, and sausage.

Rudy's Vegan Diner
The butcher sells a vegan version of black pudding, a type of blood sausage. Rudy’s Vegan Butcher

The butchers even has a charcuterie section selling vegan smoked ham, salami de provence, pepperoni, and pastrami, and offers vegan turkey for the upcoming holiday season.

Rudy's Vegan Butcher

Rudy’s has tweaked the name of many of its products to emphasise their vegan nature, such as “chick’n lover” pâté.

The butcher is delivering to the rest of the UK, too, and says that every order placed on its first day will include a free pack of “baycon.”

The butcher follows the success of its owners’ American-style diner of the same name in London’s Camden area. The diner opened in April 2018 and sells vegan hot dogs, mozzarella sticks, buffalo wings, and milkshakes.

Rudy's Vegan Diner
The owners of the butchers also launched a vegan diner in London in 2018. Rudy’s Vegan Diner

UK plant-based boom despite only 1% of Brits being vegan

The meat-free market in the UK is booming. Sales of plant-based foods grew 40% between 2014 and 2019 to around £816 million ($US1.05 billion) per year, according to estimates from analysts at Mintel. It expects this to rise to more than £1.1 billion ($US1.41 billion) by 2024.

Almost a quarter (23%) of all new UK food product launches in 2019 were labelled as vegan, its research found.

Around 1% of Brits are vegan, Mintel said in January, adding that this hadn’t risen much in the past two years. The higher demand has instead come primarily from the rising popularity of “flexitarian” diets, said Kate Vlietstra, Mintel global food and drink analyst.

“Many consumers perceive that plant-based foods are a healthier option, and this notion is the key driver behind the reduction in meat consumption in recent years,” Vlietstra said.