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Navigating the Vegan Aisles

Navigating the Vegan Aisles post image

It seems to be a golden period for those looking to make the transition to veganism, as we are witnessing a substantial transformation taking place in the consumer products industry. An increasing number of companies today are launched with a social objective or mission, such as being eco-friendly or adopting fair trade practices in their business models. Many of these are also beginning to recognize the value in being 100% vegan.

For new vegans still finding it a challenge to adapt to the change, there are now numerous plant-based meats on the shelves of many grocery stores, and even in some restaurants. Brands such as Gardein, BeyondMeat, and FieldRoast are now offering not only hyper-realistic burger patties, but also meatless barbeque wings, sausages and franks, beef medallions, and much more.

Cheese lovers have a great deal to be excited about, as there are more companies producing dairy-free cheese than we would ever have imagined just a few years ago. Brands like VioLife, Daiya, Follow Your Heart and SoDelicious are producing all kinds of delicious plant-based cheeses from mozzarella, parmesan, cheddar, gouda, and pepperjack to even Feta, Camembert and Ricotta. Miyoko’s Creamery is leading the way as a favorite of many vegans, alongside a number of up-and-coming companies producing artisan vegan cheeses.

For those who love milk, there’s no need to wonder how to enjoy your morning smoothie, cereal or coffee. There are now more vegan milk options than dairy on the shelves of your average grocery store, and believe it or not many are richer in calcium and protein than cow’s milk. And the options are no longer limited to soy, rice and almond. Brands such as Silk, So Delicious, Ripple, Pacific and Forager Project offer milks made of cashew, quinoa, coconut, hazelnut, hemp, and even peas.

So Delicious and others are taking it even further by offering dairy free ice creams and yogurts. AlmondDream, Nadamoo, Coconut Bliss, and Double Rainbow are also crafting a variety of flavors, which can be found in pints in the ice cream sections of many big grocery stores. Even some of the big name companies are starting to offer vegan flavors. For yogurt, we have brands like Kitehill, Daiya, Living Harvest, and GoodKarma out there for you to try.

There’s more in store for our friends who enjoy the convenience of ready-made meals. From ‘Cheezy Mac’ to Pizza Pockets, check out the ‘meals in minutes’ section of VeganEssentials to catch some new additions that are worth looking out for.

For the kids and adults with a sweet tooth, there is an ever-growing abundance and variety of chocolates and candies for you in the market. Try looking for Cocomels, Sjaak’s, Theo, Taza, Devine, and Unreal. These vegan masterpieces are easy to fall in love with.

But as we said before, being a vegan is not just about buying vegan food. There is now a huge array of cosmetics, toiletries and even cleaning products that are eco-friendly and cruelty-free. Arbonne, PacificaBeauty, Nature’s Gate, and AcureOrganics are some beauty brands that are botanically based and adhering to the principles of veganism. Brands such as Jason, Shea Moisture, Desert Essence, Aveda, Kiss My Face, and Auromere can be found on the shelves of many stores, offering vegan toiletries for our daily needs. In addition, Ecos, BioKleen, Method, Meyers and many more companies are working hard to make a range of chemical-free plant-based cleaning products for the home.

This evolution of the consumer industry has given rise to numerous small and big companies that are coming up with vegan alternatives, in addition to those companies that market only 100% vegan products. Today, there are vegan companies making not just food and cosmetics, but also clothing, shoes and bags, greeting cards, decorations and much more.

The family of vegan products is bigger than ever and the best part is it’s growing every day with all-vegan stores even coming up to make it more accessible to consumers. Amongst others, Vegan Haven in Seattle is an all-vegan store, and Portland is home to the Food Fight! Grocery. Online stores such as VeganEssentials, Phloem.Market, VeganEtsy, and Pangea offer thousands of products in fashion, wellness and even home decor. The accessibility of vegan products is greater than ever and if you’ve been speculating about making the transition, you can be sure that there has never been a better time.

As it is only through our efforts that this change will sustain and grow, we need to ask ourselves whenever we buy a product, “What will be the impact of this purchase?” Doing so opens us to a whole new dimension of consumer awareness.

When we talk about being a conscious consumer, it’s about showing support for what you believe in by making sure your valuable dollars are going towards the right cause and the right products. For those who favor sustainable and eco-friendly, fair-trade companies over those who are simply motivated by profit, the goal of supporting socially-just businesses must include insisting on vegan-friendly products, including clothes, shoes and even your dental floss and laundry detergent.

Our support encourages these new passionate and daring companies who are trying to make a difference, so that they can grow and evolve to make better products for us and set examples for others to follow.

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