WARWICK, England – Tulip Ltd., the largest pork processor in the United Kingdom, launched its first plant-based pork alternative brand called The Green Butcher.

The “vegan slices with peppers” are made from soy and pea proteins and are high in protein, according to the company. The product is sold exclusively at The Co-op stores in the UK. The vegan slices will be placed in the cooked meats section at Co-op stores. The company plans to launch additional products under The Green Butcher Brand in the next 12 months. Mark Cloudy, Co-op cooked meats buyer, said The Green Butcher caters to the next generation of shoppers while meeting growing demand for meat-free meal options.

“The slices will fill a gap in our cooked meats fixture and give our customers more choice in-store,” Cloudy said. “We’re looking forward to exploring more options as part of The Green Butcher collection.”

 “We’ve worked hard to develop this product in collaboration with Co-op and the slices demonstrate our capabilities as a modern food manufacture to meet the evolving needs of the market,” said Sam Reader, NPD & Innovation Controller, Tulip. “We knew that if we were going to create a vegan product, we wanted to offer a healthier option for consumers and with our slices containing real vegetables, we have a big point of differentiation from other products in the sector.”

Tulip developed the vegan slices in partnership with Co-op. Zoë Bruce, customer director – Co-op, Tulip said, “We have a strong strategic relationship with Co-op, working closely to share knowledge and encourage innovation to help both parties grow.

“The Green Butcher product will be a great addition to Co-op’s successful sandwich slice range,” she continued. “This is an exciting new journey that demonstrates our ability to meet changing consumer needs and we’re looking forward to developing the range further.”

In other news, Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. announced the completion of its acquisition of Tulip from Danish Crown. The company’s board of directors unanimously approved the transaction which was funded with cash on hand valuing Tulip at approximately $354 million based on a 1.22 exchange rate as of Aug. 27.

Tulip will operate as a business unit with Pilgrim’s Pride. The company reported nearly £1 billion in annual sales and employs more than 6,000 workers.