Animal-Free Grocery Shopping


Anything you can do, I can do vegan

There are some unusual scenes at the supermarket recently, with anxious shoppers pacing empty isles. We understand that some of the items we’ll cover in this article might not be available at this time. However, with meat and dairy shelves cleared out, this could be a great time to try some alternative products if you haven’t already. At the very least, it will give you more options to keep your eyes peeled for in your search for ingredients right now.

Current crisis aside, all too often we hear things along the lines of “I would like to eat plant-based but I can’t give up cheese”. Thankfully, companies are catching on that most of us care about the planet, the animals, and our health, but we still want to be able to enjoy our favourite foods. As a result, new plant-based (PB) products are cropping up in stores every week, making it easier than every to satisfy our cravings for the things we “can’t live without”.

Still, many people are often curious as to why plant-based foods try to mimic meat or dairy. Put simply, most people don’t dislike these foods, but dislike the impacts associated with consuming animal-products. Although alternative products may never taste exactly like the original, if we can still whip up a hectic spaghetti bolognese or host an epic BBQ with ingredients that are better for the animals, the environment, and our health, why wouldn’t we?

Beneath this itemised grocery list, you’ll find further information addressing health and price concerns, where to find these items, and a tip on checking labels. Download a printable version here (PDF).

Meat Alternatives

Burger Patties –

Beyond Burger patties

Veef Patties

Quorn Burgers

Texture Vegetable Protein

Mince – 

Naturli’ Plant-based Mince

Alternate Meat Co

Herb & Son’s mince

Steak

Cowgirl Veggie Steaks

Chicken –

Quorn Fillets, Schnitzels, or Nuggets

Fry’s Schnitzels & Nuggets

Herb & Son’s Chicken-Free Schnitzel

Next! Chick’n chunks

Pork –

Tinned Jackfruit in brine/water

Herb & Son’s Sausages

Yamlong Vegan Bacon Strips

Next! Bacon Strips

Dairy Alternatives

Milks – 

Vitasoy Oat Milk Unsweetened

Vitasoy or Aussie Dream Rice Milk

Pureharvest Coco Quench Coconut Milk

Australia’s Own Like Milk Pea Milk

Bonsoy Soy Milk

Homebrand Soy, Almond, Coconut, or Oat

Butter – 

Naturli’ Spreadable

Nuttelex Buttery

Cheese –

For melting on pizza or toasties – Bio Cheese Pizza Shred

As a burger topping – Bio Cheese Original or Cheddar Slices

For sprinkling on pasta – Nutritional Yeast

On a cheese board – The Vegan Dairy Aged & Smokey, or Chilli Chives

As a bagel spread – Creamy Sheese Original Spread

Yoghurt –

Nakula Original or Vanilla

Coyo Original

Coles Coconut Yoghurt

Nudie Coconut

Cocobella Natural Yoghurt

Soy Yoghurt

Almond Yoghurt

Ice-cream – 

Vegan Magnums

Vegan Drumsticks

Over the Moo

Weis (Sorbets)

Coles Dairy Free Chocolate Flavoured Pops

So Good Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy

Pan

Egg Alternatives

Instructions on egg replacers can be found in this Healthline article.

Substitutes –

Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer

Orgran No Egg

Apple sauce

Ground flax seeds

Chia seeds

Aquafaba (chickpea juice)

Tofu

Stocks & Sauces

Mayonnaise – 

S&W Mayonnaise

Follow Your Heart Vegenaise 

Naked Byron Foods

Celebrate Health Vegan Mayo

Stock/Flavouring – 

Massel Vegetable, Chicken or Beef Stock

Coles Vegan Chicken Stock

Liquid Smoke

Sauce –

Saclá Free-From Dairy Pesto

Macro Wholefoods Market Certified Organic Bolognese

Five Tastes Green Curry Paste

Fountain Satay Sauce

Kikkoman Soy Sauce

Snacks & Sweets

Dips –

Yumi’s or Obela Hummus

Chris’ Plant Based Spicy Capsicum or Spring Onion

Creamy Sheese Sweet Chilli

Savoury – 

Patak’s Mini Pappadums

BBQ Shapes

Harvest Snaps

Kettle Sea Salt & Salt & Vinegar Chips

Red Rock Deli Chips Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar 

Original Doritos

Arnott’s Cruskits & Vita-Weats Original

Burger Rings

Pringles Original, BBQ, Salt & Vinegar

Ritz Crackers

Sweets –

Arnott’s Choc Ripple, Gingernut, & Lemon Crisp

Leda Choc Chip Cookies

Lotus Biscoff Spread

Sweet Williams Chocolate

Alter-Eco Chocolate, Sea Salt, Quinoa Crunch

Sour Patch Kids Original

Skittles

Vego Chocolate Spread 

Coco2 Cocoa Original Spread

X-Treme Sour Straps

Cadbury Hot Chocolate Powder

Milo Pant Based

Workout Supplements

Protein Powder –

MacroMike Peanut Protein

Vital Pea Protein

Prana Power Plant Protein

White Wolf Pea Protein

*These lists just contain some of our favourite brands but new options are popping up every day.

What isle will you find these things, you ask?

At the moment, in most major chains, meat alternatives have their own section in the fridge/freezer, egg-replacer and some snack items will be in the Health Food or Gluten Free section, and other items like yoghurt, ice-cream, stocks, sauces and snacks, will be scattered with their non-vegan equivalents. To make shopping a real breeze, we like to visit stores such as The Cruelty Free Shop (Glebe, Sydney), All About Empathy (Kellyville, Sydney), or the Shift Deli (Surry Hills) that specialize in PB products.

Tips

Please remember – veganism doesn’t automatically equal healthy. In general, the closer the food is to its natural form, the better it is for you. So we will reiterate that while we love pizza, burgers, and ice cream, we do not recommend consuming these foods every day.

If you are new to exploring meat and dairy alternatives, you might think these items are expensive. Hopefully, as popularity increases, prices will come down. Bear in mind that regardless of price, most foods mentioned above should be used as substitutes while transitioning away from animal products, or as a treat to satisfy cravings of the flavours and textures we’ve grown accustomed to.

When looking at the prices of meat and dairy alternatives, it is important to consider the cost of products in terms of impact as well. For example, it costs less to make mock-meat directly out of plants, than to feed plants to animals first and then use those animals. Check out the environment impact of one glass of different milks in this BBC article Climate Change: Which Vegan Milk Is Best? 

Vegan on a budget

There is no denying that a whole-food vegan diet is the more affordable, and much healthier way to eat. A whole-food plant-based diet focuses on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined ingredients.

In addition to all the fruits and vegetables, whole-food staples include –

Grains –

Rice

Pasta (including bean pasta)

Buckwheat

Quinoa

Oats

Nuts & Seeds –

Brazil 

Almonds

Pistachios

Walnuts

Cashews

Pumpkin Seeds

Sunflower Seeds

Sesame Seeds

Pantry Items –

Lentils

Chickpeas

Kidney Beans

Black Beans

Butter Beans

Tinned Tomato

Spices –

Garlic

Onion

Paprika

Turmeric

Cinnamon

Cumin

Ginger

Oregano

Rosemary

Fridge & Freezer Items – 

Tofu

Hummus

Fruits

Vegetables

Final tip

Remember to always check product labels for any sneaky animal-derived ingredients, and especially if you have any allergies whatsoever. On most labels, you will notice a “may contain” warning beneath the ingredients, usually “may contain milk and/or eggs”.  This means the item has been produced in a factory that also produces animal products, so there may possibly be traces – as long as the ingredients are plant-based, this is okay, unless there is an allergy concern.

Comment below with your favourite plant-based item you’ve found at the supermarket. If you need recipe inspiration, check out Vegan Easy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas.

Stay safe and healthy, everyone! Look out for one another. Understand that the current shopping restrictions on the number of items you can buy are to make things fairer for everybody. Why not use this time as an opportunity to peruse items that might be outside of your usual shopping cart? You might discover your new favourite ice-cream, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, actually happens to be plant-based!

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Ari Feldmann