It doesn't seem so long ago that mainstream grocery stores didn't sell many vegan products (other than "accidentally vegan" items), health-food stores were limited to tofu and carob chips, and a vegan meal at a restaurant was a scoop of rice and steamed vegetables.
How things have changed!
These days, your local grocery is very likely to sell wonderful vegan products, with many more options being released by the month.
There are fantastic vegan restaurants to be sampled, and even mainstream restaurants and fast-food chains are starting to wise up and offer vegan options.
Of course, eating well is easy when you stick to a whole foods, plant-based diet.
But when you want to splurge, it's never been easier to eat well while on the road, or be creative with new options in the kitchen.
Natural Products Expo West is an annual show where the best vegan products are debuted every year.
Unfortunately, the 2020 Natural Products Expo West was canceled due to coronavirus concerns.
But many new vegan products were set to make their debut at Natural Products Expo West, including brie made of cashews, new meatless breakfast sausage options, dairy-free yogurt squeeze pouches, a vegan appetizer line of pizza bites, plant-based cheese spreads made of chickpeas and red lentils, a line of vegan condiments, meatless Swedish meatballs and more.
We've rounded up some of the best options out there these days, by category.
Beyond Meat, a true game-changer in the vegan meat industry, continues to bring out new, delicious vegan options.
You may have already tried the Beyond Burger, Beyond Beef and the Beyond Sausage which are available in three flavors—Brat Original, Hot Italian, and Sweet Italian.
Coming soon is Beyond Breakfast Sausage, which will be available in Regular and Spicy varieties.
The company's products are also used by fast-food chains like Subway and Carl's Jr.
Sweet Earth Foods is another vegan food brand that has a lot of vegan meat options, including veggie burgers, and chicken, ham and bacon substitutes.
Lightlife offers vegan hotdogs, bacon, sausage, meatballs and ground "beef" to make a range of recipes.
Upton Naturals is known for jackfruit, which is a popular meat substitute in vegan restaurants. Recently they came out with a line of jerk in interesting flavors including tarragon ginger lime, tamarind pepperoni, pineapple pink peppercorn and smoky original.
Field Roast makes plant-based nuggets, sausages in a number of flavors including Mexican chipotle and smoked apple sage, deli slices, burgers, celebration roasts that include stuffing and even corndogs and buffalo wings.
Try the bratwurst -- made with beer and caramelized onions, these tasty sausages are a step above the veggie dogs that you’re used to.
South Africa’s Fry's Family Food Co. (widely known internationally as “Fry’s”) recently launched its products in the United States, including a fried "prawn" stick.
The company also sells burgers, nuggets, schnitzel and sausage rolls.
Vegan seafood is the future of food, and Good Catch is getting in on the game with its incredible plant-based tuna for use in the best recipes.
The “naked in water” flavor is specially formulated for chefs and home cooks as a neutral tuna option for use in a multitude of creative dishes.
The company also makes plant-based crab cakes and fish cakes.
Oatly!’s Oat-Milk—in regular, low fat, and chocolate varieties— are now available at cafés and grocery stores.
The brand has exploded with new products: ready-to-drink lattes in cold brew, matcha and mocha varieties; and "Oatgurt" yogurt in natural, vanilla, strawberry, raspberry and blueberry raspberry flavors; vegan ice cream in a number of flavors; and even a whippable custard.
Follow Your Heart, a long-standing vegan brand known for Vegenaise, among other products, continues to pump out great options.
Look for their yogurt at your local market, and spoon up 10 flavors, including vanilla bean, peach, and key lime. Each delightful cup contains plenty of probiotics to keep you and your gut happy and healthy.
The company also makes vegan sour cream and cream cheese.
Wildbrine, known for making fermented vegan foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi, has gotten into the dairy-free business with a cashew-based brie.
Canadian company Le Grand is new to U.S. markets—look for its products at Whole Foods.
It’s adding new products to its line-up, which already includes a number of vegan pesto, soups, and sauces.
Check out their alfredo and tzatziki sauces.
If you're a bagel lover, you must check out Kite Hill. In addition to their flavored almond and coconut milk yogurts, the company makes a line of almond-milk cream cheese alternatives in regular, jalapeno, chive and "everything" flavors.
These are some of the best vegan options you can buy for your bagel brunch.
Featuring creamy cauliflower sauce, Follow Your Heart’s vegan cheese, zesty sauce, and roasted vegetables (broccolini, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and corn) on a corn-carrot-chia crust, Sweet Earth Foods' next-level veggie lovers pizza pizza has won over our taste buds with its incredible ingredients and flavor.
If you've got kids, or even if you don't, no pantry is complete without a few emergency boxes of mac and cheese.
Modern Table has you covered with a vegan option that is also gluten-free and has 15 grams of protein per serving.
Modern Table mac and cheese comes in classic cheddar, white cheddar and Southwest style.
There are so many great ice cream options among vegan products: Ben and Jerry's vegan ice cream and the many options offered by So Delicious, to name a few.
If you're looking to branch out from ice cream (we don't know why, but maybe you do), here are some new sweets that are vegan.
Try the new vegan products from Bhakti and Elmhurt Milked: Bhakti iced chais with cashew milk. Whole Foods carries them. We love the mocha flavor with its melding of chocolate and ginger.
Alter Eco combines fair-trade chocolate and crispy coconut flakes into an irresistible treat that is available in flavors including cherry + almond butter flavor is our personal favorite, but we’re also head over heels for the seeds + salt and original flavors.
We hope we've given you enough options for the best ingredients to use while trying new vegan recipes.
This is the best year yet to be vegan, and we also like to think that next year will be even better.
A vegan freelance web designer and blog writer based out of Austin, Texas USA.
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