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Sainsbury’s opens meat-free butcher

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If you were in the business of raising awareness of things vegan and non-meat, would the best move you could make be to open a temporary store that would normally be associated with dead animal products? Somewhat counter-intuitively then, Sainsbury’s has just finished a weekend in which it has been selling vegan products from a “non-meat” butcher in London’s Bethnal Green.

Its location puts it in the heart of the UK capital’s most alternative (and fashionable) area, so it is perhaps little surprise that the grocer chose Bethnal Green to flaunt its vegan credentials and as a PR vehicle it has certainly proved worthwhile.

The store itself is, from the outside, an old-fashioned butcher, complete with awning and a window filled with products that, to the casual eye, would look exactly like meat of various kinds. The words “Non-Meat Butcher’ give the game away however, even allowing for the fact that the store interior is a pretty close approximation of the appearance of an old-fashioned store of the kind.

The ‘butcher’ traded from Friday until yesterday and shoppers visiting it did so during World Meat Free Week.