Here’s Why Your Vancouver Big Box Grocery Shelves Now Have So Many More Vegan Products
Not so long ago, the search for vegan food items meant a trip to a specialty grocery store, even in a city like Vancouver. But the old tropes of the funky cooperative of hippies and bean sprouts lovers are very old news. In fact, even the term “vegan” has been dropped, having become somewhat derogatory, replaced by the milder term “herbal”.
And herbal products are becoming more and more common.
Today more than ever, the shelves of major Canadian grocery stores contain an impressive array of animal-free foods, many of which are designed to mimic the flavor and texture of its counterpart in the non-vegan world. Alternatives to plant-based dairy products include not only “milks” and “creams” but also all kinds of “cheeses”, yogurts and frozen treats. You’ll find ready-to-bake plant-based patties to replace with beef burgers, “crumble” to replace ground meat and all kinds of fake frozen chicken and fish products, as well as sausages, dips, spreads and desserts.
From jackfruit to jerky, shoppers at large Vancouver grocery chains can easily flex their flexitarian – or all-vegan – muscles these days.
Go beyond Beyond Meat and more
Many of the products are made by leading global brands that have tapped into the Canadian market and established themselves on grocery shelves here in British Columbia, often starting with a single product, such as Beyond the meat ‘s hamburger, before adding to the range. Beyond Meat has made its ground meat substitute and bigger salty sausage available, and just added the company’s Beyond Breakfast Sausage links.
“With the launch of our first retail breakfast product, we are enabling Canadians to enjoy Beyond Meat products any time of the day, satiating the growing appetite for plant protein in the country,” said Heena Verma , Marketing Director for Canada, Beyond Moi at.
Confronting Beyond Meat in the packaged meats section of your local large grocery store is Impossible foods, another US-based company making a name for itself in the industry. Other global brands that you’ll also easily spot in mainstream grocery stores include California’s Earth Island (which started in the 1970s as an independent Follow Your Heart vegetarian market in Los Angeles) and Greece Violife, which manufactures several kinds of vegan “cheese” products.
Metro Vancouver businesses take root in consumer herbal products sector
Conversely, Port Moody’s Noble jerky – which started out as a beef jerky manufacturing company – has gone fully vegan and has entered the US and Australian markets, in addition to now being sold at the giant grocer Walmart Canada.
The company’s shift to all-plant products marks what Noble sees as an inevitable change in the market: “With so many large meat companies turning to offering vegan options, the growing demand for products to plant-based and rising health and environmental trends, the outlook for our food industry is clear – the future of meat is vegan, ” explains the company.
When it comes to boutique brands, many of which started as sole proprietorships here in Metro Vancouver, several small plant-based businesses have grown into large multinational corporations as Canadian grocery chains have expanded. their product lines. houseplant products, tapping into a growing sector of the consumer market.
Based in Burnaby Earth belongs rose to prominence in the milk substitutes industry with its line of oatmeal drinks – non-dairy milk substitutes cannot legally use the word “milk” in their product names – and is now a fixture in the case of dairy products in large grocery stores in Vancouver, as well as as independents. The company then expanded its line to include nut-based milk substitutes, followed by a duo of oat-based cream-like products – one designed for use in coffee and the other as a substitute. “Culinary” or cooking cream.
Today, Earth’s Own is growing again with products like plant-based butter spread, non-dairy “cream cheese spread” and “sour cream” and ranch flavored dip.
These products will share storage space with other Vancouver herbal brands that have grown exponentially, such as Spreadable cuisine, which started out making dairy-free dips and spreads before expanding to add “cheese” and other products to its list. Spread’em started out in the family kitchen of its founder, which made the products and sold them at Vancouver farmers’ markets for weekend entertainment.
Canadian grocers are making more plant-based items themselves
When it comes to longtime innovators in the Canadian food industry, it’s hard to beat Loblaw, which has harnessed trends in ingredients, eating habits, and more. for decades. Loblaw Companies Limited’s President’s Choice (PC) internal label now features a ever growing range of herbal products, available for sale in Vancouver at stores like The Real Canadian Superstore, City Market and No Frills.
The product line has seen an increase in the number of items recently, including oat-based yogurts, ready-to-cook sausages and more frozen items to reheat and serve like breaded “chicken” strips.
For Loblaw, creating these items became a matter of meeting consumer demand for products that could easily help them eliminate some, not necessarily all, of the meat from their diet.
“Canadians have been adopting a flexitarian mindset for some time now, seeking to include more plant-based products in their weekly meals,” said Kathlyne Ross, Vice President, Products and Innovation, Loblaw Companies Limited at Vancouver Is Awesome. ” In this spirit. , our team has developed over 80 PC plant-based products to provide Canadians with more flavorful meat and dairy alternatives, delivering the plant-based solutions we know they are looking for.
Often times buyers are looking for subs and simple trades to solve the “what’s dinner?” »Problem while striving to consume less animal products. For some buyers, it is by going vegetarian or vegetarian one evening a week for “Meatless Monday”, while for others, it is a little more. “If you want to easily replace your Taco Tuesday family meal with a baseless beef alternative, we’ve got you covered,” says Ross, of the PC robust plant-based product line.
These customers are what Loblaw calls the “plant curious”.
Ross says giving consumers plenty of choice in the grocery store is also essential, as is convenience. “For Canadians curious about plants, our goal is to help them accommodate a greater variety of delicious, plant-based alternatives in their daily diet, in a way that is simple and convenient for them,” adds Ross.
For those who consider themselves curious about plants, flexitarians, or all-plant foods, know that your nearest big box grocery store is definitely listening.