The retailer will stock two of the producer’s best-selling products, THIS Isn’t Bacon and THIS Isn’t Chicken Salt & Pepper pieces.
The move follows the announcement of a flurry of plant-based product launches last week. It including Meatless Farm's first entry into the frozen food category, three new Morrisons products from Oumph! and Spanish brand Heura's UK debut.
Commenting on its distribution deal, THIS co-founder Andy Shovel said: “It’s an absolutely massive milestone for THIS to be launching into Sainsbury’s and it forms a significant part of our growth plans.
Winning over meat lovers
“We’re grateful that we can add something new and exciting to the supermarket’s plant-based offering with our bacon and chicken alternatives, which mimic meat in taste, texture, appearance and high protein content. Hopefully, we can on-board even more meat-lovers who haven’t yet been won over by plant-based food.”
Since launching in June last year, THIS has secured listings in more than 3,000 stores and restaurants across the UK, including Waitrose, Ocado and The Co-op.
In June, just shy of its one-year anniversary, the manufacturer launched into 744 Tesco stores with its chicken and bacon alternatives. The retailer recently pledged to grow sales of plant-based meat alternatives by 300% in an effort to decrease the environmental impact of food.
Commenting at the time, Shovel said: “We want THIS to punch a gigantic hole in this category, on-boarding millions of meat-lovers who haven’t yet been won over by plant-based food.
“Launching in the UK's largest food retailer is a gigantic milestone for us and, on our side, we’ll keep brand-building at breakneck speed – to make the most of it.”
THIS said it had grown at a compound rate of 35% month-on-month and was on track to achieve annualised revenue of £7m-£10m later this year. To support this growth, it announced plans to invest £1m into a plant-based innovation centre.
Described as a 'Willy Wonka-esque' facility for plant-based research and development, it will house sensory, textural and other processing equipment. A team of food scientists, engineers and flavourists will staff the centre and help THIS develop new products.