Meat substitute products have gained popularity in north America over the past three months because of the foot and mouth outbreak in Britain, it has been claimed.

Vancouver, Canada, based soya company, Yves Veggie Cuisine, which has about half of the fresh soya market in the US and Canada, has seen growth in sales between 25% and 30% over the last quarter.

Company spokesman, Roy Kingsmith told "I'd like to say it's because of our great marketing strategies but in fact it's attributed to the foot and mouth outbreak. The pictures on the nightly news showing hundreds of cattle being dumped and burned changed their taste for a big steak."

By Monica Dobie, editorial team