Packages of Beyond Meat Inc.'s Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage, are displayed along with other plant based meat products at a supermarket on November 19, 2020 in Katwijk, Netherlands (Photo by Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images)


Dutch supermarket chain stops promotions on meat, to push ‘protein transition’


Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo will no longer offer promotions on its meat products, to encourage customers to eat “plant-based” food instead.

While many countries in Europe struggle with an energy transition away from fossil fuels, Jumbo says it is working on the ‘protein transition’.

The chain says it aims to help customers move towards a more plant-based diet, in line with a government drive to decrease animal protein consumption.

The Dutch government has set a goal for 2030, aiming for only 40 percent of the protein consumed to originate from animal sources—a target several supermarket chains have pledged to support. Presently, the average stands at approximately 60 per cent.

The drive to reduce meat consumption, says the government, is to promote ESG principles and climate goals.

From the end of May, there will be no further offers for beef, pork, and chicken in all Jumbo branches and online.

“We didn’t rush into it in our pursuit of a 50/50 protein transition goal by 2025”, the supermarket said. “Analyses have revealed that achieving this interim objective can only be accomplished by discontinuing meat promotions.”

“This decision is another step by Jumbo in continuing to help customers make plant-based food a tasty and affordable choice in an accessible way. Jumbo already did this by increasing knowledge about plant-based recipes and developing innovative concepts that are affordable, high quality and tasty,” it added.

Jumbo is the first supermarket to discontinue promotions on meat products in the Netherlands.

Other supermarkets are attempting to achieve similar objectives in their own ways.

For instance, Albert Heijn has promoted plant-based diets, assisting clients opting for vegetarianism.

Jumbo was previously targeted by animal welfare organisations because its number of meat offers doubled in a year.

A supermarket spokeswoman told RTL News that such actions “did indeed strain the responsibility we felt anyway.”

Another said, “It is a difficult challenge to be the first to stop promoting meat,” fearing customers simply will buy their meat elsewhere.

Many environmentalist organisations say they “admire” the move, but others criticise it.

In a statement, animal welfare organisation Wakker Dier says it is happy with Jumbo’s decision. “The supermarket shows that plant-based, healthy food really is a top priority,” says a spokesperson. “We have great admiration for the courage Jumbo is showing with this.”

Caroline van der Plas, leader of the Farmer Citizen Movement, is less pleased.

On X she reacts, “Jumbo stops offering meat: ‘Feeling responsibility’. But no responsibility for all those hundreds of thousands of families who can hardly ever put meat on the table because of the price. And this could be possible with a promotion.”

Other social media users state they will no longer do their shopping with Jumbo.

Some claim that meat in supermarkets is anyway of lower quality compared to artisanal butchers.

“Jumbo stops offering meat because they feel responsible. However, they will continue to advertise sugary products, ultra-processed seed oils, products with carcinogenic additives and alcoholic beverages,” observes one social media users.