Health food supermarket chain Holland & Barrett has announced plans to open its first fully vegan stores.
The chain also hopes to stock 500 more vegan food products by the end of the year, in line with the increasing popularity of plant-based products.
Peter Aldis, Holland & Barrett’s chief executive, told The Guardian that the company wants to make it easy and unintimidating for consumers to source vegan products. He said, “We don’t want to feel like a place for alternative hippies. We want vegan to become more mainstream and there are lots of very good reasons why it will.”
As well as extending its food options, Holland & Barrett also plans to expand its cruelty-free beauty range, taking on competitors like the Body Shop and Lush.
Holland & Barrett already sells vegan nail polishes by Zoya in around 50 of its stores. And in its Beauty Kitchens, customers can create their own cruelty-free body scrubs. But Aldis wants to grow Holland & Barrett’s ethical make-up and cosmetics range. Currently, the company stocks only 50 lines but eventually hopes to sell up to 1,000 cruelty-free ranges. The chain’s exclusive beauty brand, Beautiful Me, is Leaping Bunny certified.
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“The market for vegan products is booming, in line with growing consumer concerns about the ethical and environmental impact of animal-related products and a desire to buy products that align with the issues people care about,” Andrew McDougall, a global beauty and personal care analyst, told The Guardian.
The UK’s sales of luxury vegan beauty products increased by 38 percent last year, according to market research group NPD. Last month, the former worldwide president of L’Oréal announced the launch of her own cruelty-free and vegan luxury skincare brand.
Holland & Barrett’s new vision is comprehensive; the company is also gradually removing gelatin from all of its supplement capsules.
The new plans demonstrate an increased environmental consciousness. The company previously stopped selling beauty products with parabens and foaming agents because these ingredients damage the environment.
Initially, Holland & Barrett will trial two vegan-only stores which will stock roughly 1,000 products. Cosmetics and food items, such as vegan ice cream and animal-free nutrition powders, will be available.