DUTCH frozen ready meals challenger, Lazy Vegan, is launching a NEW Italian Risotto, hitting Waitrose stores this week.

As part of the start-up’s mission to make plant-based eating easy, the new risotto can be stir-fried straight out of the freezer within 8 minutes, taking the hassle and cooking time out of traditional risotto.

Enriched with Italian herbs, a creamy vegan cheese sauce and authentic Arborio rice, Lazy Vegan Italian Risotto is gluten and soy free. Each serving provides 200g of vegetables, including green asparagus, mushrooms, chanterelles, spring onion and cherry tomatoes.

The risotto is the fifth SKU within the stir-fry range. Variants include Tikka Masala, Thai Green Curry, Mexican and Provençale – all with pea-protein-based chicken style pieces – ready in 8 minutes.

Expansion into Waitrose follows a successful UK launch across the Sainsbury’s estate, as part of the Future Brands Programme in 2019, with Ocado coming on board last year.

The Waitrose distribution forms part of the brand’s second phase of growth via a broader, health and ethically-conscious flexitarian target. Co-Founders Vincent Bosgraaf and Bas Dijkstra see game-changing category potential with this consumer group as people return to the office post lockdown.

Co-Founder, Bas Dijkstra, said: “With strong brand awareness and loyalty among vegans and vegetarians, now is the perfect time to take our growth to the next level via a broader ‘time poor’ consumer who is conscious about the impact of ‘cutting down’ on meat for their health and the environment.

“As many of us return to the office post restrictions, so will the need for quick and tasty meal solutions as lives become busier again. Heightened awareness around health, accelerated by Covid, is increasing demand for nutritious, natural ingredients, less meat and more vegetables. This combination presents a timely opportunity for Lazy Vegan, our retail partners and the frozen ready meals category.

“Whilst many of us may have become more conscious about our health and the planet, the concept of completely switching to plant-based can be perceived as daunting, bland and time-consuming.

“Our promise of a tasty, healthy plant-based meal in eight minutes taps into that insight, removing those barriers to make it easy for consumers to enjoy less meat – even if they make the swap to vegan dishes once a week”.

Lazy Vegan Italian Risotto RRP £3.25 for 400g pack – fully recyclable.

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