main of Vegan Meat Substitutes Have Never Been More Widely Available

It wasn't all that long ago that vegans had to scour their local grocery stores to find the one or two vegan meat substitutes that they offered. It was even harder to find a vegan meal while eating out that consisted of more than a measly salad and baked potato. Vegan meat substitutes simply were not as mainstream or widely available as they are today.

Luckily, these days vegan meat substitutes are widely available at nearly every food store and restaurant across the country. Fast food chains have even jumped on the bandwagon with vegan offerings! The rise in demand for vegan meat substitutes led to their boom in both popularity and availability, much to the delight of vegans, those dabbling in plant based eating, and allergy sufferers alike.

What's in a Vegan Meat Substitute?

The world of vegan meat substitutes offers a wide variety of options, with a long list of ingredients to match. There are two different categories of vegan meat substitutes: those that are made with primarily whole foods and those that are made with primarily processed ingredients. Let's take a look at just what makes up the most popular vegan meat substitutes that are available today:

Whole Food Ingredients

  • Whole soybeans (often organic)
  • Vital wheat gluten
  • Natural herbs and spices
  • Brown rice

Processed Food Ingredients

  • Soy protein concentrate
  • Soy protein isolate
  • Canola oil

No matter if a vegan considers themselves to be a whole foods plant based vegan or a junk food vegan, there are plenty of options for each. Vegan meat substitutes that are made to look, taste and cook like their animal meat counterparts are often those made of soy protein as the primary ingredient. Veggie burgers and meat substitutes that consist of more whole food ingredients generally boast whole pieces of vegetables and natural spices.

When ordering a vegan meat substitute at a restaurant, the staff should have the list of ingredients on hand for diners to peruse. Customers could also ask for the brand name of the product and do a quick internet search to find out what that specific vegan meat substitute is made of.

Popular Vegan Meat Substitute Brands

The huge rise in popularity of vegan meat substitute brands has created a booming niche industry for new companies along with those who have been creating vegan meat substitutes for years. Some of the most well known brands that have been around for a long time are:

  • Tofurky
  • Boca
  • Lightlife

Some of the newer companies that have made a huge impact on the world of vegan foods are:

  • Beyond
  • Impossible
  • Gardein

Popular Vegan Meat Substitute Products

There seems to be a vegan meat substitute for just about any animal meat product that is available. From the classic, well known veggie burger to vegan hot dogs to vegan fish filets, the options are endless! The most popular vegan meat substitute products that can be found in a grocery store are:

  • Beyond Burger Plant Based Patties
  • Impossible Burger Ground
  • Gardein Classic Meatballs
  • Tofurky Hickory Smoked Deli Slices

The most popular vegan meat substitute products that can be found at a fast food chain are:

  • Burger King's Impossible Whopper
  • Dunkin Donuts Impossible Sausage Sandwich
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken Beyond Meat Fried Chicken

The most popular vegan meat substitute products that can be found in a quick serve restaurant are:

  • Chipotle's tofu sofritas
  • Cheesecake Factory's Impossible Pasta Bolognese
  • T.G.I. Friday's Beyond Burger

There has been an increased number of people wanting to eat more plants, and having these foods be so widely available is the first step to helping them incorporate more vegan foods into their diets. Having vegan products become a part of the mainstream food scene has been an incredible societal shift which will surely continue to grow.