BY KAYLA VALERA | STAFF WRITER
In recent trips to the grocery store, I’ve noticed that more vegan products are hitting the shelves than ever before. Perhaps this phenomenon is due to the growing popularity of this lifestyle, causing more companies to expand their market toward vegan friendly consumers. Either way, mainstream companies and traditionally plant-based brands alike are aiding this movement, and vegans can’t help but reap the benefits.
The alternatives that I personally seek out are ice cream and meat products. Finding replacements for these indulgences were one of the hardest parts of shopping as a vegan. As shown by the following items listed, enjoying vegan meat and ice cream transition foods in 2017 can be relatively easy and convenient.
1. Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy Ice Cream
Back in 2016, the well-known ice cream brand, Ben and Jerry’s, released four non-dairy ice cream flavors after an overwhelming demand by customers– some of which went as far as to sign a petition for inclusive ice cream for people who don’t eat dairy. These flavors are as follows: Chunky monkey, P.B. & Cookies, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Coffee Caramel Fudge. Since then, the company has released four new flavors in 2017: Cherry Garcia, Coconut Seven Layer Bar and Caramel Almond Brittle.
2. Häagen-Dazs Non-Dairy Ice Cream
Similar to Ben and Jerry’s customers, fans of Haagen-Dazs petitioned the company that produces indulgent frozen dessert for some non-dairy ice cream options. In return, the brand introduced four new, decadent flavors: Mocha Chocolate Cookie, Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Salted Fudge Truffle, and Coconut Caramel. However, these ice cream pints will be sold exclusively at nearly all Target stores as of July 2017.
3.Breyer’s Non-Dairy Ice Cream
Earlier this year, Breyer’s Ice Cream quietly released two non-dairy ice cream flavors–Vanilla Peanut Butter and Cookies & Cream, which quickly caught the attention of vegan grocery shoppers as the products hit the shelves. These almond-milk based ice cream are more generously sized than the pints worth of Ben and Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs non-dairy ice cream (compared to Breyer’s 1.5 quart).
4.Beyond Meat: The Beyond Burger
Beyond Meat‘s newest artificial meat product, the Beyond Burger, has garnered a following from both non-meat eaters and traditional meat eaters as a convincing substitute for a beef patty. Its beef-like texture, juicy taste, and color change from pink to brown when cooked are shockingly comparable to the real deal. The patty is made primarily of pea protein and is free of soy, gluten, and GMOs. Though it was only accessible at most Down to Earth or Whole Foods, Safeway has recently started to carry this product at its stores in Nevada, California, and Hawai’i.
5.Tofurky Vegetarian Ham Roast
From the same company that sells cruelty-free turkey to replace the Thanksgiving staple, Tofurky has just released its latest feature, the Tofurky Vegetarian Ham Style Roast. This imitation ham roast includes an “Extra Special Beer Glaze” to baste with and is prepared as you would a regular ham roast. Its smell and taste are told to be reminiscent to actual holiday ham and was released in April for Easter feasts. Its national distribution, however, is planned for Thanksgiving and Christmas season later in the year. Most Safeway, Down to Earth, and Whole Foods should carry this latest item.