Where’s the meat? UK’s first vegan butchers opens

Rudy’s Vegan Butcher sells meat-free specialities such as baycon and soysages. (Reuters)
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Updated 31 October 2020

Where’s the meat? UK’s first vegan butchers opens

  • Law firm EMW reported a 128 percent jump in new trademarks registered for vegan food in the UK last year

LONDON: In a corner of north London, a new gleaming butchers is preparing to open.

The only thing it lacks is meat.

To coincide with Sunday’s World Vegan Day, Britain’s first permanent vegan butcher, Rudy’s, is opening, set to sell meat-free versions of traditional products such as baycon, soysage and turk’y.

Demand for vegan products has surged in recent years in Britain, with increasing numbers of people cutting out animal-derived ingredients completely, while others reduce the amount of meat and dairy they consume each week.

“People understand what it is that we’re selling,” co-founder Matthew Foster told Reuters.

“It’s all designed to emulate meat. It tastes like meat, it’s got meat-like texture.”

Law firm EMW reported a 128 percent jump in new trademarks registered for vegan food in the UK last year, with both large corporates and small companies registering such trademarks as vegan ice cream and pastries. The team behind the new butchers started out in 2017 with a vegan diner and are now looking to offer goods, including whole dinner kits to be made in the home.

The substitutes, set out in the brightly lit shop with white walls and sketches of animals on the walls, are made from soya and seitan.

The surge in demand for alternative food products has recently sparked a debate over whether restaurants and shops should be allowed to label products as “veggie burgers” or “vegan sausages” or whether it can confuse the consumer.

Lawmakers in the European Union ruled earlier in October that banning such terms, as advocated by farmers, would discourage consumers from shifting to more plant-based diets.


Japan’s capital sees prices fall most in over 8 years as COVID-19 pain persists

Updated 27 November 2020

Japan’s capital sees prices fall most in over 8 years as COVID-19 pain persists

  • Tokyo core CPI marks biggest annual drop since May 2012
  • Data suggests nationwide consumer prices to stay weak

TOKYO: Core consumer prices in Tokyo suffered their biggest annual drop in more than eight years, data showed on Friday, an indication the hit to consumption from the coronavirus crisis continued to heap deflationary pressure on the economy.
The data, which is considered a leading indicator of nationwide price trends, reinforces market expectations that inflation will remain distant from the Bank of Japan’s 2% target for the foreseeable future.
“Consumer prices will continue to hover on a weak note as any economic recovery will be moderate,” said Dai-ichi Life Research Institute, which expects nationwide core consumer prices to fall 0.5% in the fiscal year ending March 2021.
The core consumer price index (CPI) for Japan’s capital, which includes oil products but excludes fresh food prices, fell 0.7% in November from a year earlier, government data showed, matching a median market forecast.
It followed a 0.5% drop in October and marked the biggest annual drop since May 2012, underscoring the challenge policymakers face in battling headwinds to growth from COVID-19.
The slump in fuel costs and the impact of a government campaign offering discounts to domestic travel weighed on Tokyo consumer prices, the data showed.
Japan’s economy expanded in July-September from a record post-war slump in the second quarter, when lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the virus cooled consumption and paralyzed business activity.
Analysts, however, expect any recovery to be modest with a resurgence in global and domestic infections clouding the outlook, keeping pressure on policymakers to maintain or even ramp up stimulus.