A chain of vegetarian butcher shops is rapidly expanding in the Netherlands, where the demand for meat alternatives is rising as 87 percent of citizens no longer eat meat on a daily basis and two-thirds of the population sees meat as a luxury, rather than a necessity. The Vegetarian Butcher—or De Vegetarische Slager in Dutch—has grown from one storefront to being sold in more than 30 locations in less than a year, offering faux chicken, bacon, gyros, sausage, and more to the masses. Founded by Niko Koffeman and organic farmer Jaap Korteweg, the company aims to provide sustainable meat alternatives with superior flavor and texture. Koffeman estimates that 80 percent of the shop’s clients are vegans and vegetarians, but the company hopes to convert people who want to reduce or completely omit meat from their diets. “Animal cruelty is one reason, but also a growing concern for sustainability,” Koffeman says. “After all, meat production is highly inefficient.”
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