Major UK Health Food Chain Holland & Barrett Plans to Open Vegan Supermarket

Major UK Health Food Chain Plans to Open Vegan Supermarket

Holland & Barrett, the United Kingdom’s largest health food retailer, has announced plans to further solidify its position in the plant-based food space. While speaking to The Telegraph, Holland & Barrett chief executive Peter Aldis revealed that in response to the growing trend of veganism among consumers, the chain is “working on a vegan-only store.”

Aldis, whose wife recently went vegan after hearing about the benefits of a vegan diet from celebrities and vloggers, believes that there is a huge opportunity for the major health retailer to capitalize on the vegan movement“The amount of people that are engaging in that lifestyle is rising,”  he said.

“It is our space and we should be in it,” Aldis added, later noting that he considers Holland & Barrett a vegetarian retailer, though it sells some products containing omega-3 oils derived from fish.“When you do something like that, it is an impossibility for a supermarket to follow.”

The vegetarian and vegan-friendly retailer has a track record of leading the way in eco-conscious business decisions and responding to its consumers. In 2009, it became the first major group in the UK to ban single-use plastic bags from stores and stopped selling products that contained environmentally-damaging microbeads prior to the UK ban that went into effect earlier this year.

Earlier this year, Holland & Barrett announced that it would drop products containing krill oil following a report from environmental non-profit Greenpeace that called for a limit on krill fishing in order to protect the Antarctic for a proposed Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary. Aldis also revealed that the company is working on eliminating gelatin from its products. He noted that while certain decisions mean that some products will take longer to make, it is important that the company does not isolate any community.

Founded in 1870 as a supermarket and clothing shop, Holland & Barrett has an extensive history as the largest health and wellness retailer in Europe, specializing in natural foods and beauty products. In 2015, the company opened “Holland & Barrett More” stores, the UK’s first-ever “free from” store concept featuring a wide range of Holland & Barret vegetarian, vegan, and allergy-friendly foods. At the moment, a timeline for the Holland & Barrett vegan supermarket has not been announced. It is likely that the company will open its first vegan supermarket in the UK.

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