With the benefits of plant-based diets for our health and the environment becoming widely known, there has been an increasing interest in (and demand for) plant-based foods.
And food companies have come swooping in to capitalize on the opportunity, making it easier than it was ever before for people to follow an animal-free diet.
However, like any other industry, not all vegan food companies are the same. This can leave many wondering what brands to rely on. This article provides a list of the best vegan food brands to resolve that confusion and help plant-eaters identify the best places to get their animal-free food supply from.
Where to Shop for Vegan Food?
Finding vegan food is no longer a hassle as it used to be for the early vegans. However, people (especially the new converts) may still struggle with vegan food shopping. This has to do more with not knowing where to shop from than the lack of options, though.
A lot of people rely on local grocery stores for their food supply, and not all of them stock a good selection of vegan products, which can be frustrating. But the solution is easier than you may think. All you need is to do your food shopping online to find an endless variety of products from vegan food brands.
In fact, it will be more convenient than sifting through the aisles of food at your local grocery store in search of foods you can eat. Order vegan food online (on Amazon) from the brands listed above and have it delivered to your doorstep.
Best Vegan Food Brands In 2023
Whether you’re transitioning to the vegan lifestyle or want to add more variety to your vegan food pantry, these are some of the best brands to shop from:
1. Beyond Meat (link)
Defined by PETA as the company that’s single-handedly changing the vegan meat game, Beyond Meat is one of the most (if not the most) popular vegan food brands.
The company uses peas as its primary source of protein and offers a wide range of gluten-free, non-GMO vegan meat products, ranging from raw ground meat and crumbles to read-to-cook plant-based burgers, sausages, and meatballs.
The best part? Beyond Meat products taste and feel just like regular meat items, especially their plant-based burger. It’s consistently rated as the best vegan burger available out there. The brand also offers vegan chicken and jerky. Sounds incredible? Wait, there’s more!
Beyond Meat’s manufacturing processes also have much less impact on the environment than traditional food manufacturing processes.
A peer-reviewed analysis conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan found that producing a Beyond Burger uses 99% less water, 46% less energy, and generates 90% less greenhouse gas emissions than a traditional American beef burger. Now that’s impressive, I must say!
- Wide range of products
- Mimics the taste and texture of meat very closely
- Gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO
- Environment-friendly manufacturing process
- High in sodium
2. Impossible Foods (link)
Impossible Foods is one of the top vegan food brands with regards to imitating the flavor of the meat. The brand uses genetically-engineered plant-based heme to offer vegans the authentic beefy flavor, making it easier to transition and commit to the plant-based lifestyle.
For those who may not know, heme is a compound naturally found in animals’ blood and muscles and gives it its characteristic color and flavor. Simply put, heme is what makes the meat taste like meat, gives it its pinkish-red color, and makes blood red.
At present, Impossible Foods offers plant-based beef, burger patties, sausages, meatballs, chicken nuggets, and pork. But news has it that they are also working on creating plant-based alternatives to fish and milk.
Just like with the beef alternative, the company aims to mimic the exact flavor, consistency, and creaminess of dairy milk. Perhaps this is why it’s taking them so long to make it. According to the Washington Post, they started working on the prototype in 2018. That’s quite a long time! But we hope it will be worth the wait.
- A variety of products
- Contain plant-based heme to offer flavor and texture as close to meat as possible
- Contain added nutrients, like vitamin B12 and folate
- Not GMO-free
- Higher in sodium
- Contains a genetically-engineered ingredient, i.e., heme
3. Daiya Foods (link)
What started as a small vegan cheese company now stands as one of the best vegan food brands for dairy alternatives. With over 40 great-tasting plant-based dairy products, Daiya Foods is redefining the vegan dairy industry. But that’s not all. The brand also offers some cheesy vegan foods that everyone loves.
Their products include a large variety of plant-based cheese in blocks, slices, and shreds, cheese sticks, cheese sauces, dairy-free dressings, cream cheese, ice creams, dessert bars, cheesecakes, and vegan pizzas, and mac & cheese.
If you’re a cheese lover, Daiya Foods is the brand to shop from. They offer the best vegan cheese in terms of taste, pull, and how it melts.
Apart from their fantastic food range, another factor that helps Daiya Foods stand out is their stringent ‘allergen control’ policy. The company has a rigorous approval process for the suppliers they work with and also stores allergen ingredients in separate areas.
To further ensure the prevention of cross-contamination, Daiya Foods has a specific production running schedule that calls for working with allergen-free products before the ones containing potential allergens.
All the surfaces and equipment are then cleaned, sanitized, and tested to ensure there are no allergen residues. And all this is done on a daily basis. The brand deserves appreciation for it.
- Gluten-free & soy-free
- Offers the best vegan cheese (that melts, pulls, and tastes very much like dairy cheese)
- Has vegan ice cream
- Limited prepared food options
4. Oatly (link)
Originally a Swedish food company, Oatly is now one of the best vegan food manufacturers of dairy product alternatives. As the name of the brand tells, the company makes everything from – you must’ve guessed it already – oat milk.
The products range from simple oat milk to flavored drinks, oat yogurts (or oatgurts, as they call them), cream, custard, spreads, and ice creams.
The vegan milk also comes in whole, semi, and skinny (skim) varieties, yogurt is available in plain, flavored, and Greek options, and the ice cream comes in a range of delectable flavors.
We also have cooking and whipping creams, oat milk barista edition, and oat milk lattes.
Oatly is one of the best brands for all things oats.
Interesting Fact: According to Oatly’s website, the company started the oat milk production process some 30 years ago. No wonder it’s one of the best brands for oat milk products.
- Offers dairy-free alternatives of yogurt and cream, along with milk and ice cream
- Offers oat milk latte
- Has vegan custard made with oat milk, too
- If you don’t like oat milk, Oatly isn’t the vegan food brand for you.
5. Quorn (link)
Quorn isn’t a 100% vegan food company (let’s get that out of the way first). It’s entirely plant-based, though. Also, its website has a separate category of vegan foods with quite a good range of products.
Quorn’s vegan food offerings include nuggets, deli slices in Yorkshire and smoky ham, roast beef and roast chicken varieties (plant-based, of course), pepperoni, burgers, sausages, ground beef, vegan chicken pieces and fillets, fishless fingers, fillets, and scampi, wings, steak bakes, kebabs, sausage roll, and sandwiches.
Phew! That’s one long list.
Want to know an interesting fact about Quorn meat?
It’s made from a fungus-based protein specially grown for this purpose in glucose vats.
- Excellent variety of products
- Offers both ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat options
- The brand is plant-based but not 100% vegan.
6. Follow Your Heart (link)
Most known for its vegan mayonnaise – vegenaise – Follow Your Heart is a top-rated vegan food brand that has been around since the 70s when veganism wasn’t as widespread as it is today.
The company primarily offers dairy-free alternatives to cheese, mayonnaise, dips, dressings, and spreads, with several varieties in each category.
But it has recently expanded its product line with vegan batter for pancakes, waffles, rocket cakes, and vegan eggs (yes, they exist, in case you didn’t already know). With these two items in the pantry, you’ll have your breakfast sorted for the week.
Follow Your Heart also offers a good variety of vegan cheese slices, with options like Smoked Gouda, Provolone, Pepper Jack, and Garden-Herb.
As for their most popular product, i.e., Vegenaise, there are options like Avocado Oil Vegenaise, Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise, Organic Garlic Aioli Vegenaise, Pesto Vegenaise, Chipotle Vegenaise, Sriracha Vegenaise, and Roasted Garlic Vegenaise.
The dairy-free and egg-free mayo also come in Organic, Reduced Fat, and Soy-Free varieties.
I also love their vegan salad dressings. There’s a good variety of options and dressings that are traditionally non-vegan.
- One of the best vegan food companies for vegan mayo, cheese, and dressings.
- Offers vegan eggs
- The brand also offers vegan batter for pancakes, rocket cakes, and waffles
- Limited categories of vegan foods (no vegan meat products)
7. JUST Egg (link)
There are quite a lot of food companies now that make vegan meat and vegan meat products, but there aren’t many who make vegan eggs. JUST Eggs does just that (no pun intended).
The company offers vegan eggs that you can use any way you want, folded eggs for your morning and midnight sandwiches, and sous vide for when you need a quick bite.
Just Eggs look, feel, and taste just like regular eggs. Use them to make French toasts, omelets, quiche, or any other egg dish, you won’t feel a difference. They even scramble like actual eggs.
- JUST Egg uses mung beans to make their vegan eggs, which is one of the most sustainable plants in the world.
- Have the same look, taste, and texture as real eggs
- Offers plant-based eggs in three varieties
- Limited product range.
8. Gardein (link)
Making it easy to eat meatless, Gardein offers an extensive range of plant-based chicken, beef, turkey, pork, and fish products. The vegan food brand’s product range also includes ready-to-eat meals, soups, and chilis.
In addition to its wide range, Gardein also stands out from many other vegan food companies in the types of products it offers.
The brand doesn’t just offer the usual vegan fillets, burgers, and nuggets but lets you eat fancy meat(less) dishes while on a vegan diet. When I say fancy, I mean foods like turkey roast stuffed turkey, orange chicken, pork bites, and crab cakes.
In addition to these vegan alternatives to traditional meat dishes, Gardein also offers some authentic plant-based items. These include the falafel burger, Italian-style chickpea burger, and black bean burger and sliders.
There’s a reason why they say it’s hard to find a vegan who doesn’t have a stock of Gardein products in their freezer.
- A wide range of excellent plant-based foods
- Offers ready-to-eat meatless bowls, soups, and chilis, too
- The only downside of Gardein products (that I could find) is that they are processed.
9. Hippeas (link)
Now that we have discussed enough vegan brands offering real food, shall we talk about vegan snacks? After all, we all love a good snack here and there. Although there are plenty of plant-based snack options available on the market now, one brand that deserves to be mentioned is Hippeas.
Hippeas is not only a vegan brand, but its products are also healthy. This is why it’s so popular among plant-eaters despite its limited product range.
For those who may not know, Hippeas offers puffs and tortilla chips made of chickpeas. They are vegan, kosher, soy-free, non-GMO, and certified gluten-free. Hippeas is also a USDA-certified organic vegan snack brand. It can’t get any better than this.
If you’re looking for healthy vegan snacks that also taste good, Hippeas is the brand to shop from. There are only two core Hippeas products, but they come in different flavors, so you’ll have choices.
- Healthy vegans snacks
- Organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, soy-free, and kosher
- Limited variety of products
Are Vegan Foods Healthy?
Several studies have linked plant-based diets with improved health due to increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and a significantly lower intake of saturated fats. However, we must understand that not all plant-based diets or foods are equally healthy.
Just like regular foods, vegan items can be unhealthy, too. There are vegan foods that are highly processed, contain additives and high amounts of sodium, added sugar, etc.
Just because you’re not eating animal-based ingredients doesn’t mean your diet will automatically become healthy. If you’re looking to improve your diet from a health perspective, you need to make conscious food choices.
Plenty of food companies make healthy vegan foods, so there’s no shortage of options. You just have to look for them.
Don’t want to use processed vegan foods?
Don’t worry; there are other ways to make delicious vegan food. Check out the following video for ten ridiculously simple vegan recipes for meat dishes (we’re talking about dishes like steak, Asian ribs, and pulled pork sandwiches)
Which is the Best Vegan Food Brand?
It’s hard to choose one because it depends on what exactly you’re looking for. That’s why I gave you a list of vegan food brands so that you can choose according to your needs, taste, and budget.
Having said that, Gardein has probably the most extensive range of vegan meat products with some great fancy food options. Follow Your Heart, on the other hand, makes a great choice for vegan cheese, mayonnaise, and dressings, and no one does vegan eggs better than JUST Egg.
Interested to learn about vegan food options you can find in stores? Check out my article Costco Vegan Options to find out what foods one of the biggest retail store chains in the US stock for its vegan customers.